teens in quinceañera dresses protest texas immigration law

A group of 15 girls took over the State Capitol to protest SB4, Texas's sanctuary city ban.

by Hannah Ongley
21 July 2017, 11:45pm


Protesting Texas's discriminatory new "Show Me Your Papers," and reminding everyone that teen girls are the best ever, 15 young activists in gowns and tiaras staged a quinceañera on the steps of Austin's State Capitol yesterday. In Hispanic culture, quinceañeras are normally celebrations of a girl's 15th birthday, making Texas Governor Greg Abbott the only 59-year-old white dude in recent history to be thrown one. Congrats! Unfortunately this was probably not the type of attention Abbott wanted when he showed up to work.

When Senate Bill 4 goes into effect in September, it will allow law enforcement to ask people who look foreign for their documentation. It may also discourage immigrant victims of crime from seeking help from law enforcement. The girls explained this to a crowd of supporters in between dancing to mariachi birthday tunes and Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)." Draped across their gowns were bilingual sashes reading "Familias Unidas" and "Accountability." 

"The bottom line is, SB4 makes simply being brown illegal," 17-year-old Magdalena Juarez, wearing a bright red gown, announced. "When Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law on May 7, he disrespected my community. He put a lot of Texas in danger. SB4 is not only an attack on immigrant communities, it threatens the lives of all people of color." Another quinceañera wearing seafoam green said that the girls were representing all marginalized Texans. "We're not just 15 girls," she said. "All those little kids, all those grandparents, your parents — we are them today."

This isn't the only sartorially savvy protest to be held at the Texas State Capitol recently. In March, a group of women walked onto the Senate floor dressed in red Handmaid's Tale robes to protest anti-abortion bills. But the Texas Latinx community is really amping up the volume on themed resistance. On May 28 at around 3am, around 50 protesters showed up to the governor's mansion blasting mariachi music through megaphones. They considered doing it at Abbott's actual house, but mariachi music often attracts cops when played in residential neighborhoods. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Twitter

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