"I am an immigrant. My parents are immigrants. I represent a district filled with immigrants."
A Texas lawmaker is making headlines after making an emotional speech to his colleagues, speaking out and opposing a bill banning "sanctuary city" policies. A video of his impassioned speech has gone viral.
Rep. Gene Wu (D-TX) addressed the state's House of Representatives last Wednesday during a debate about Senate Bill 4, which would force law enforcement officials to cooperate with deportation efforts by threatening jail time among other punishments. It would also allow police to question the immigration status of anyone they stop, including children. Unfortunately, the bill was approved by the House the next day.
But not before Wu, who represents District 137 in Houston, threw down and explained — through tears — why fighting the controversial immigration enforcement bill was such a painful, personal issue for him.
"This topic is painful for me," said Wu, who is Chinese American. "I am an immigrant. My parents are immigrants. I represent a district filled with immigrants."
Wu invoked the discriminatory policies of America's past, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which restricted the immigration of Chinese immigration into the United States, and the unjust mass incarceration of Japanese American citizens during World War II. In both instances, "The people who voted for that, the people who supported that, thought they were doing the right thing," Wu said.