Texas Democrat Fasted Ahead of Sanctuary Cities Debate
Texas Democratic State Representative Victoria Neave will break her fast today after refusing to eat ahead of the House's Wednesday debate of a sanctuary cities bill.
According to the Texas Observer, Neave vowed to abstain from ingesting anything besides water for four days after attending mass in Dallas Sunday. She said it was a form of peaceful protest against Texas Senate Bill 4, which would impose civil and criminal penalties on local and campus law enforcement officers who refuse to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities, or adopt policies that would stop officers from enforcing immigration laws. It would also require jails to comply with requests to hold undocumented immigrants for up to two days beyond the point at which they would normally be allowed to post bail.
House debate upon the measure is scheduled for today, though one Republican lawmaker joked to the Austin American-Statesman that he "didn't get to be a fat white boy by not eating", and that he should "postpone it a couple of days and see how hungry she gets."
Reactions to Neave's gesture have been mixed. The Observer reports that the hashtag #FastAgainstSB4 emerged as supporters expressed gratitude to Neave, but some, like user @SamktgL, called the Representative's actions embarrassing. User @TinaFra80898810 even said Neave could "starve to death for all I care", and said she did not want refugees in Texas.
Neave told the Observer she knows her Democratic colleagues do not have the votes necessary to stop the legislation, but that the gesture was a spiritual one in honor of her father, who immigrated to Texas illegally before becoming a citizen.