Texas Freedom Network Denounces Debate of Bills Harming Border Communities Amid Tragedy in Brownsville

May 9, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt, [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House will today debate two bills that directly affect communities living along the border — HB 7 and HB 20.

HB 7 seeks to codify and expand programs that oversee policing, court proceedings, and jail systems along the border, while HB 20 would create a Border Protection Unit comprised of “law-abiding citizens.”

Today’s debate comes just two days after a vehicle intentionally plowed into a crowd of people waiting to be served at the Ozanam Center in Brownsville. Eight people were killed while ten were injured.

Texas Freedom Network’s Texas Rising Senior Regional Program Coordinator Ivonne Diaz (she/her/ella) issued the following response​:

“HB 20 and HB 7 are cruel, inhumane pieces of legislation that could potentially cause irreparable harm to communities living along the border. We know all too well that the fear-mongering and hateful rhetoric espoused by our state’s leaders can have very real consequences. The act of hate that resulted in people losing their lives in Brownsville is a tragic example, and we will never forget how the same xenophobia and racism cost 23 El Pasoans their futures while simply going to a grocery store to care for their families just four years ago.

“These extremist border policies put us in direct danger by creating state-sponsored vigilante programs and increasing funding for programs that have historically discriminated against people in our communities. We deserve safety and the right to live without fear that we will be racially profiled or targeted in our own neighborhoods.”