By Maat Andrews
The Houston Sun
Senate Bill 4, a bill that has stirred much controversy since its introduction by Texas Governor Gregg Abbot in 2016, was signed into law in May of this year and has sparked protests from many different communities across this state and has awakened the dormant heart strings of the millennial generation.
In an ACLU organized protest headed for San Antonio, a group of over 100 activists and budding activists left Houston in the wee hours of Monday morning to take part in a state-wide resistance to SB4 that that will be put in force September of this year.
The bill limits sanctuary cities, of which Houston is one, from protecting law-abiding residents who are continuing their dreams and working as productive members of the US recovering economy. This bill permits local law enforcement to question citizenship status of residents with whom they come in contact.
Part of the bill provides for the punishment of officers who are reluctant to step over what formerly were federal lines of authority and require resident status information from local Houstonians.
As is the case in most situations in which the opposition overplays its hand, the bill has sparked activism that is shaping itself into long-range, stable forces in the electorate, especially in the millennial generation.
These buses that left Houston for Monday’s protest carried an unusual number of young people, eager to express their voices agai
not an unjust provision. These newly-formed activists are members of different groups that meet regularly and help them shape their responses to challenges of their views, their hopes, their futures.
So, the recently ignited fire is not set to burn quickly and die soon. These organizations are part of their daily or weekly lives and could be the building ground for political support of candidates championing their agendas.
One of the young activists is Ivette Torres, an advancing junior at Northside High School. About her passion for equal and fair treatment, the Northsider stated, “I was motivated to go to San Antonio because some people are afraid to stand up, to leave their homes, so it was my duty to step up and speak out for them.”
During this trek for a repeal of SB 4, Torres noted that about half of the bus-riders were young people, about her age, and they were discovering how to effect change in their world. They were learning to get what they want through the political process.
“I learned that it is a lot easier to be involved, that there is support for anyone, especially young people who want to get things done,” Torres said.
“These families [the ones affected by SB 4] are the ones that are the most motivated and the most filled with fear also,” she added.
“This event was organized by the ACLU. I knew when I first saw their presentation that I was going to be involved in these things and would participate in the future,” Torres said.