Texas State Representative Victoria Neave has decided that she will not eat until Wednesday to demonstrate her opposition to an anti-immigrant bill in the state legislature.
Neave’s four-day fast is in opposition to Texas state bill SB 4, which “would ban cities, counties and universities from adopting policies that prevent local law enforcement agencies from asking about a person’s immigration status or enforcing immigration law,” as public radio station KERA reported. The bill has undergone a number of changes, resulting in what the Texas Tribune called a “scaled down” version, but its essential goal—to bar sanctuary cities from existing—remains the same.
Opponents of the bill like Neave fear that it will cause fear in immigrant families, and discourage people from reporting crimes for fear of revealing their immigration status.
The bill is scheduled for debate and a possible vote in the state’s house on Wednesday. Governor Greg Abbott has called banning sanctuary cities with a bill like SB 4 an emergency priority.
Neave—a Democrat representing Texas’s 107th district including parts of Dallas, and the daughter of an immigrant—hopes her fast will inspire empathy in lawmakers.
“We don’t have enough votes to defeat this bill,” she told the NBC affiliate in Dallas. “My fear is that it will pass, but I am fasting and praying and hoping the hearts of other lawmakers will be soften to vote against this bill as well.”
On Twitter, users tweeted their support of Neave’s fast. Some even said that they will join her in fasting prior to the bill’s debate.