Why are millennials moving to Houston, Texas

Operations: Article - 05/17/18

Civil Rights and Activism in Trump's America: The Houston, Texas Case

Zahra N. Jamal

in: transactions no. 221/222 (1-2 / 2018), pp. 159-177

Using the example of the city of Houston, Zahra N. Jamal describes the practical restrictions on freedom and discrimination for migrants, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities as well as women. At the same time she presents efforts of local politics as well as numerous civil society initiatives that stand up for the rights of those affected and seek to mitigate the worst effects of exclusionary politics.



Like many other Texas metropolitan areas, Houston is a blue, democratic island in a sea of ​​red, rural, and Republican-ruled areas that make up most of Texas. The prosperous cities of Texas are becoming more diverse, more liberal, and more democratic with immigration, internal migration, and high birth rates, as well as an influx of millennials and minorities.1 With Republicans in power in the White House, Congress, and most governorships, try the democratic mayors of the major Texan cities to implement a liberal policy on the regulation of gun ownership, minimum wages, transgender issues and migration through local ordinances

Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States. Significant non-Latin American white, Latin American, African American, and Asian populations make Houston the most diverse of the ten largest cities in the United States, ahead of New York City.3 In fact, the 2010 census found that Houston had no ethnic or racial majority. Houston also has one of the most robust labor markets in the United States.4 It should also be noted that three of the ten largest cities in America are in Texas.

Despite this diversity, Houston’s populations are disadvantaged - including migrants, undocumented immigrants, and refugees; racial or ethnic minorities; religious minorities and members of various sexual groups (LGBTQ) - often exposed to discrimination and hatred. Many also lack information and access to the rule of law, health care, education, and other services.5 Since 2016, hate crimes have increased in Houston due to various factors:





Race / ethnicity

37.5 %

56 %

Religious affiliation

12.5 % 

13 % 

Sexual orientation

25 % 

20 % 

Gender identity

25 % 

7 %



4 % 

Table 1: Reasons for hate crime in the city of Houston and in the state of Texas in 2016


While in 2016 32% of crime in Texas took place in public spaces - streets, parking lots, shops and religious establishments - 42.5% of the crime occurred, worryingly, within the home.6 There has been an attempt to target certain marginalized groups with urban ones Protect Regulations.

Even if the last mayors of Houston pursued a liberal policy, American courts decided at the end of the 19th century that the 50 states could control their cities through superordinate “preemptive laws” 7. So you can prevent your municipalities from passing local laws on issues that are already governed by state laws. Texas Sanctuary Cities Act (cities where illegal immigrants are tolerated and have access to public services) allows the state to fire city officials who refuse to enforce federal immigration laws, even if a city ordinance has passed demands exactly the opposite. States set the basic rules and powers of city governments, including those related to financial management, which reduce cities' revenue opportunities. They also influence the economic growth of cities through investments in “K-12 schools” (non-stop schools from kindergarten to graduation), universities and employee development. In addition, the states control the use of federal funds for social benefits, food aid, health care and additional benefits for the working poor in the municipalities. Progressive regulations in cities like Houston can therefore have only limited effect.

These great tensions and contradictions between the Republican state of Texas and the predominantly Democratic city of Houston are critical to understanding the civil rights landscape in that city and its limitations. Wherever the state government restricts the city of Houston, I believe it is crucial that civil society, i.e. private non-profit organizations, perceive and meet the needs of residents. The diversity and integration capacity of Houston is demonstrated every day by the countless civil rights organizations that contribute to Houston's status as a “Welcoming City.” 8 The following are the main civil rights challenges and the answers of civil society to crucial questions such as migration and identity ascriptions such as race , ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation, and health.


Central topics & challenges

The American Constitution guarantees rule of law and equal protection for everyone, regardless of immigration status or place of birth. Nevertheless, in the name of economic and national security, diplomacy and populism, the American landscape has been shaped for decades by a tough immigration policy, which has come to a particularly sharp point in the last year. Foreign-born residents can be divided into three groups: migrants who settle in the United States and apply for American citizenship through a legal process; undocumented migrants illegally immigrating to the United States, unable to apply for citizenship, and deported; as well as refugees who have had to flee their home country or their host country and apply for asylum through legal channels. The foreign-born residents add socio-economic diversity in Houston, pay over $ 3 billion in federal, state, and local taxes annually, and have nearly $ 116 billion in purchasing power

Nonetheless, legal and undocumented migrants' civil rights have been curtailed through public and private discrimination, indefinite and compulsory detention, incidents at immigration and customs authorities (ICE) and border patrols, deportations and the lack of due process and discriminatory migration laws at national, state and local level Level. Some of the largest immigration camps in the country are in Texas. Such camps are known for the inhuman treatment and mistreatment of prisoners. In addition, the treatment of migrants by US immigration authorities is often purposefully racial, with disproportionate use of force, unconstitutional searches and imprisonment. The ICE is conducting raids on migrant communities and officials from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allegedly denied undocumented asylum seekers access to legal counsel and mandatory hearings, often urging them to sign an application for "voluntary" departure. In October 2017, the CBP took B. the 10-year-old Rosa Maria, who suffered from cerebral palsy. She was taken from her hospital bed and taken away from care by her cousin, who is an American citizen. Rosa was illegally detained as an "unaccompanied minor".

With its 1,250 mile border with Mexico and 60% foreign-born immigrants from Latin America10, Texas is a state where national immigration law comes into full effect. Senate Bill SB 51411 proposes the creation of a border patrol on the Texan border in order to increase the state's efforts on that border.
Once undocumented migrants arrive in a Texas city, state Senate Bill SB 412, known as the Texas Sanctuary Cities Law, requires local governments and law enforcement agencies to work with ICE to enforce state immigration policies. Local officials who refuse will be punished. On August 30, 2017, a federal court that can block “preemptive laws” issued an order that blocks the entry into force of a large part of SB 4. This means that local officials can currently decide for themselves whether they want to support the enforcement of federal immigration laws and are not punished for their decision. The court order also stated that local officials can, but are not required to, question people about their immigration status and that they are not specifically allowed to detain or detain anyone for this purpose. If the local police detect an undocumented immigrant, they can inform the ICE, but are not obliged to do so. The Texas government appealed. 14

In addition to the immigration issues, the global refugee crisis has now also gripped the state. For over 40 years, refugee reception in the United States, including Texas, has been carried out with bipartisan support. In 2016, Governor Greg Abbott refused to accept refugees in his state without authority15 and tried to prevent NGOs from supporting the reception of refugees. The National Immigration Law Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have filed a legal opinion with the International Rescue Committee to prevent Texas from illegally denying entry to Syrian refugees at the state border. Two years later, President Trump's entry ban, which was upheld by the US Supreme Court in 201716, banned refugees and migrants from certain countries from entering the country for four months and suspended the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Civil Society Reactions

Public-private initiatives advocate the rights of foreign-born residents of Houston - the city unofficially recognized as the city with the most migrants and refugees in the United States - at the community level.17 The city of Houston has partnered with civil rights organizations to help migrants , to provide undocumented foreigners and refugees with access to information and services, to integrate them and to welcome them with the “Welcoming Houston Initiative” as people who contribute to the diversity and economic performance of the city.18 Houston City Hall also provides important information and provides basic urban services in Houston’s five most widely spoken languages: Chinese, Vietnamese, French, Arabic and Spanish. In addition, the Mayor of Houston is advised by an Advisory Board on Migration and Refugees to help him identify and meet the needs of these populations.

Aside from the restrictions imposed by the entry ban, refugees can still be admitted to the United States. In Texas, however, where the governor refuses to support the integration of refugees, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) has stepped in instead of the Texas government to provide refugee aid. The YMCA is in direct contact with the US State Department, which is responsible for the reception of refugees at the federal level. It is also important to note that due to their legal status, refugees are taxable and pay far more taxes than the US government spends on their resettlement.19

There are many organizations that help migrants, undocumented foreigners, and refugees with their arrival and resettlement in Houston. The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative is a 15-member network consisting of migration law NGOs, funders, and law schools. The network aims to create legal support capacities for migrants and undocumented foreigners who cannot afford a private lawyer, and to make it easier for them to access them.20 A hotline was set up at the ACLU to inform target groups about their rights and to refer them to qualified legal service providers and document hate crime.21 Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center and the South Texas College of Law Immigration Clinic also provide legal assistance to Houston residents.
Refugee care centers in Houston such as the Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, Catholic Charities, YMCA, the Alliance for Multicultural Services in America and others. provide refugees with comprehensive support in finding accommodation, with English courses, health, education, job placement, social services and obtaining a driver's license, thereby helping them to become independent. The Amaanah Refugee Services mainly take care of female and minor refugees. The Vietnamese, African, Somalis, Bhutanese and Bangladeshi communities also have their own organizations to advise migrants and refugees on legal, educational and social issues related to their status as migrants or refugees.

La Unidad 11 defends the civil and human rights of all and especially of migrant families, while United We Dream v. a. advocates fair treatment of young migrants and undocumented foreigners and their families on access to education through the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Race & Ethnicity

Central topics & challenges

Discrimination against colored people becomes apparent when one considers the differences in wealth, income, criminal justice, housing, education and other rights. The average wealth of a white household is e.g. B. 20 times that of a black household and 18 times that of a Latino household.22 Despite the guarantees of justice and equality enshrined in the US Constitution and civil rights law, race and ethnicity are always as described below still markers for injustices in many areas, among others on mass arrests, selective enforcement of drug laws and the death penalty, inequalities in education and the punishment of juvenile delinquency, homelessness and the right to vote.

Texas penal reform has been touted throughout the United States as a model for state criminal law reform23 that will cut costs, save taxes, increase public safety and reduce prison terms. In fact, state lawmakers have chosen not to spend money earmarked for prison expansion, and that decision has been mistakenly equated with cost savings and a reduction in prison numbers. Texas has the largest number of prisoners and the fourth highest incarceration rate in the United States24 - nearly 800 of every 100,000 adults are incarcerated. The cost of criminal justice is the second fastest growing item in the national budget25, with 90% of this spending going to prisons. Between 1980 and 2004, Texas incarcerated increased 566 %26, while prison spending increased 1,600% in the same period.27 The state has spent $ 3 million28 on prison terms annually since 2017 - nearly three times as much29 as for the universities.

The law enforcement system in the United States, including Texas, is disproportionately focused on people of color. The enforcement of legal provisions is handled differently depending on the race and people of color are convicted far more often. Although African Americans make up 22% of the population in Texas, 35% of prisoners are African American.30 Currently, over 50% of Texas prisoners and 81% of new entrants are non-violent offenders. B. were arrested for drug possession. Blacks have been disproportionately affected by arrests for marijuana. Blacks and Hispanic Americans of color are also three times more likely to face the death penalty in Texas than whites31. It should also be noted that Texas used outdated parameters32 to determine whether inmates on death row had an intellectual disability. State lawmakers are currently debating whether and how to reconcile state policy with the 2002 US Supreme Court ruling that executions of the mentally disabled are in violation of the Eighth Amendment.Almost 33% of released offenders are re-incarcerated within three years.

Various legislative proposals seek redress here. Bill HB 8133 makes possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a criminal offense, not a criminal offense that automatically leads to arrest. Senate resolutions SJR 1734 and SJR 1835 would legalize and regulate the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. Bill HB 112536 urges local courts not to detain the poor who cannot pay fines, while SB 38037 ensures that law enforcement officers pursue organized crime and drug traffickers with seizure laws rather than targeting the underprivileged. HB 54838 would ensure that job offers are made to these people.

The homeless are mostly released prisoners, veterans, the mentally ill and destitute and in 2002 78% of them were colored in Houston.39 In recent years the city of Houston has reduced homelessness by 50% 40 through compassionate policies. However, the city's ordinances on outdoor camping and begging, which should push the homeless into asylums and end begging with "hard love", illegally curtail the homeless' s rights. The asylums are full and the homeless are forced to sleep in tents on the streets and beg money for food.

In addition to discrimination against people of color in criminal law and homelessness, there is also discrimination in the registration of eligible voters and related rights. After a large number of minority groups voted in the 2008 presidential election, new voter suppression laws and practices were introduced to exclude African American and Latino voters, the poor, the elderly and the disabled. These measures include the requirement for photo identification, reducing the number of days on which early voting is possible, restrictions on the registration of voters by third parties, systematic clean-up of lists of registered voters, questioning the residency of student voters and unfounded allegations of electoral fraud. In 2013, the US Supreme Court annulled Section 5 of the Suffrage Act41, which required certain states and districts to obtain prior approval from the US Department of Justice before they could change the voting rules. This paved the way for Texas to discriminate against Hispanic and Black voters by introducing one of the strictest ID laws in the United States in 2011. After that, you had to show a state driver's license or ID card, concealed handgun license, United States passport, military ID, US citizenship certificate, or election identification card to vote. This law has been criticized by federal courts. As a result, the Governor of Texas, Abbott, signed Act SB 5 in June 2017, which contains the same valid IDs for voting and allows Texans without photo ID to vote if they have alternative forms of identification - e. Submit bills from utility companies, bank statements or pay slips and sign an affidavit stating that you have been prevented from obtaining proper identification by a “comprehensible obstacle”. 42

In August 2017, a federal judge ruled that SB 5 was voter intimidation and did not adequately address the shortcomings of the Texas Identity Card Act of 2011.43 In three additional cases, federal courts in 2017 found that the electoral laws in Texas were deliberately discriminatory and that the electoral law in Texas was deliberately discriminatory could therefore be placed under federal supervision again.

In addition, federal judges have invalidated two of the 36 constituencies in Texas for violating the United States Constitution and federal electoral law and have requested that this be corrected by state lawmakers or a federal court before the 2018 election.44 Specifically In constituency 27, Hispanic Americans are deliberately discouraged from voting for the candidate of their choice, while in constituency 35 it appears that race was used as the main factor in determining the district boundaries and thus there is manipulation on the basis of race.


Civil Society Reactions

To solve these racist problems, a variety of organizations advocate the civil rights of racial or ethnic minorities in Houston. Black Lives Matter Houston responds z. B. on institutional racism, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Houston and the Urban League promote initiatives for social justice and civil rights and the Texas Organizing Project promotes electoral organization for low-income Texans. Civil rights groups like the National Voting Rights Project and the ACLU fight voter suppression through lobbying, legal proceedings and public education. They are also calling on Congress to reinstate Section 5 of the Suffrage Act and are running a major voter education campaign to help ensure that all voters know their rights. The Arab American Cultural Center of Houston promotes understanding of Arabia's cultural heritage. Other organizations stand up for Asian minorities, such as For example, the Chinese Community Center Houston with its education, cultural and social programs, while Houston 80/20, the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Japanese American Citizens League Houston Chapter, and the Houston Chinese Alliance all promote civic engagement among Americans of Asian descent . Still others care for the Hispanic population in Houston, such as: B. the League of United Latin American Citizens, which deals with the economic condition, education, civic engagement, health, housing, and civil rights of the community; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which addresses immigration issues, electoral law violations, unequal educational opportunities, and discrimination in the workplace; and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, which promotes full Hispanic participation in the American political process.


Central topics & challenges

The first amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to religious belief and freedom to practice religion and that the government will not favor religion, the absence of religion or prefer any religion to any other. Nonetheless, religious discrimination against Jews and Muslims, who made up 2% and 1% of the population of America and Houston in 2014, is widespread in America today45. According to a study by the polling institute PEW in 2014, half of the population of Houston describe themselves as Protestants (with one third evangelical Protestants), one fifth as Catholics and one fifth as non-denominational. 46

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the primary organization dedicated to detecting and combating anti-Semitic incidents, has seen an increase in such incidents in Texas and the United States as a whole. In 2015, the number of anti-Jewish incidents in the US had risen to 941, an increase of 3% over the previous year.47 There was an increase of 50% 48 in assaults and almost 100% 49 in anti-Semitic attacks at colleges and universities in 2015 . Since January 2017, 167 bomb threats have been issued across the US against Jewish institutions50, including Jewish community centers, schools and synagogues.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which exposes and combats anti-Muslim incidents, is proceeding in a very similar way. He reports that between 2014 and 2016, anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped 584% 51 and anti-Muslim incidents jumped 65% 52. 35% of the acts were based on the assumed race or ethnicity of a person, in 16% of the cases the wearing of a headscarf was the cause of the crime, participation in community events or political rallies accounted for 11% of the hate-motivated incidents and crimes, while the name of a person was the cause in 8% of the cases and a person's church in 6% of the cases motivated the crime.53 30% of these cases took place in public places, 15% in federal agencies (e.g. FBI, CBP and ICE) and 13% am Workplace. 54

The rise in hate crimes against Muslims was fueled by an Islamophobic environment in which President Trump claimed that "Islam hates us" 55 and that American Muslims did not integrate. Trump has also announced that he will register the Muslim population with the government and issue them special IDs56, although independent reports highlight the patriotism and social contribution of American Muslims.57 As of 2017, Republicans have judged Muslims less favorably than Democrats (39% vs. 56%) and are more likely than Democrats to say that Islam is not part of mainstream American society (68% versus 37%), that there is a natural conflict between Islam and democracy (65% versus 30%) and that it is Muslim Extremism is very worrying (67% versus 40%). 58 A full 84% of Americans support the entry ban and 49% support increased police presence in Muslim neighborhoods.59


Civil Society Reactions

Various religious organizations advocate for religious communities in and around Houston. The Faith Leaders Coalition of Greater Houston fights for religious diversity, cultural respect and advocacy for all religious communities; Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston improves mutual understanding among people of different faiths through meals on wheels and services for refugees, and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston supports immigrants and refugees, children, veterans and victims of abuse. The ADL continues to monitor such incidents, which also take place online, and in 2016 set up a Task Force on Online Harassement and Journalism to counter anti-Jewish prejudice against journalists. The organization trains teachers, students and officials through its “No Place for Hate” program to prevent such incidents in the future. The Jewish Community Center of Houston offers programs for Jewish and non-Jewish families in the area. The Council on American-Islamic Relations advocates for American Muslims and the protection of their civil rights, while the Islamic Society of Greater Houston provides hospitals and schools for Muslims in the area, conducts wedding and funeral services, and transmits IslamInSpanish Latinos and Spanish-speaking populations enlightening Islam. The local branch of the Federal Ministry of Justice works with civil society organizations in the region to educate population groups about their rights, to raise funds for the fight against hate crimes, to enable religious communities to protect their places of worship and to inform the public about Islam and Hinduism and to enlighten Sikhism and thus reduce hate-motivated attacks on these groups.

Sexual orientation

Central topics & challenges

The civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer (collectively: LGBTQ) Texans are guaranteed by the constitution, but are threatened. As LGBTQ people are treated by many as second-class citizens, LGBTQ adults and adolescents are often confronted with restrictions on their legal entitlements and civil rights with regard to social justice, freedom of assembly, the labor market, housing and education.

Although 66% of Texans advocate legal protection against discrimination against LGBTQ people, discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity is legal under federal and Texas law. This means that the LGBTQ community has no legal recourse against landlords, business people, medical professionals or employers who discriminate against them. Although the US Supreme Court has made same-sex marriages legal, if it were to violate the state constitution, SB 89 would have made it illegal in Texas to enforce federal laws or regulations, such as those of the Supreme Court, on same-sex marriage This law has not come into effect, such efforts are nonetheless significant through their intent to violate civil rights and their economic impact: The Texas Association of Business argues that an anti-LGBTQ law in Texas is due to boycotts and brain drain Businesses and major events such as concerts and sporting events out of the state could cost 185,000 jobs and up to $ 8.5 billion. 61

In 2017, state legislators in the Texas Senate and House of Representatives tabled 25 anti-LGBTQ bills, 17 of which were designed to allow individuals and businesses not to serve LGBTQ people for religious reasons. These proposals for so-called “religious refusal” laws are dangerous because they allow discrimination on the basis of multiracial and interreligious couple relationships, on the basis of marital status or other categorizations. SB 651 would e.g. B. Protect qualified professionals - such as plumbers, teachers and accountants - from the consequences if they discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious grounds.62 Bill HB 2878 would allow healthcare providers to refuse medical care to LGBTQ people in Texas on the basis of religious beliefs63 , while SB 209664 and HB 385665 would allow social workers, counselors and therapists to refuse treatment for mental illness or drug addiction to members of this community.

In addition, three laws - SB 52266, HB 181367, and HB 279568 - would allow county officials to deny marriage permission to LGBTQ couples in Texas based on religious beliefs. Furthermore, House Proposals 180569 and 385970, along with Senate Proposals 89271 and 153672, would allow child care workers to impose their religious beliefs on children in their care and to exclude LGBTQ families as foster and adoptive parents. Another law (HB 428) would allow state-funded student organizations to exclude LGBTQ students from membership on religious grounds.73

Many of the legislative proposals contain “pre-emption” clauses that override local law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace, when looking for housing and when awarding social housing. The proposed SB 92 would prevent Texas cities and other local judicial districts from protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination when hiring, looking for and renting social housing, and effectively abolished the protection of LGBTQ Texans across the state.74 The famous, Proposal SB 6, also known as the “bathroom bill”, would prohibit transsexuals from using public toilets, changing rooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity.75

Unapproved laws present an additional challenge for LGBTQ youth. SB 242 would require schools to disclose any personal, direct or incidental knowledge about a child to a parent and possibly to induce an outing of LGBTQ students76, even if negative Fear reaction. The Texan legislature changed SB 2078 to the effect that the use of toilets, locker rooms and changing rooms that correspond to their (new) gender identity would be restricted in public schools for transsexual students


Civil Society Reactions

In Texas, various civil rights organizations, 27 of the richest Fortune 500 companies, nearly 500 religious leaders, and over 37,000 citizens have signed or opposed petitions against proposed anti-LGBTQ laws, and public education and legal and supportive campaigns to pass non-discriminatory regulations funded in cities. 78

Houston public institutions advocate the needs of the LGBTQ community. The City of Houston LGBTQ Advisory Board acts as a liaison between the LGBTQ community and the Mayor and advocates actions that advance the LGBTQ community in Houston.The weekly radio program "Queer Voices" discusses news and problems faced by the queer community in Houston. Both PFLAG Houston and the Human Rights Campaign of Houston protect and support the civil rights of the community, the Transform Houston Coalition fights against discrimination against the community and improves its legal protection. The Gay and Lesbian Switchboard is a 24-hour hotline that assists Texas residents through crisis intervention, domestic violence and hate crime, resource and drug support. The Montrose Center empowers LGBTQ survivors of hate crimes and sexual assault through education, mobile care and support. The offers for young LGBTQ people include the HATCH Youth organization, which strengthens self-confidence, and the Open Gate Homeless Ministry, which provides a place for young LGBTQ adults where they are welcome. Out for Education provides college scholarships for LGBTQ youth in Houston.

Organizations that support women in the community include the Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston, Inc., which breaks down barriers to health care for LBT women and transgender men, and AssistHers, who educates lesbian women about health issues and connects those affected by life-threatening diseases are affected and helps to break down barriers to access to medical care and social services. Other institutions take care of the economic needs of the LGBTQ community, such as For example, the Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, which promotes economic growth and entrepreneurship in the LGBTQ community, and the Out and Equal organization, which promotes equal work conditions for LGBTQ people in the Houston area.

Health and reproductive rights

Central topics & challenges

While access to health care and insurance remains a challenge in the US as a whole, recent legislative initiatives in Texas are aimed at criminalizing people living with HIV and women who have abortions. In addition, Texas is (not) caring for the mental and physical health problems caused by sexual and other forms of domestic violence.

Texas has the second highest number of people living with HIV in the United States. Those who are most likely to be incarcerated - African Americans, Latinos, and those living in poverty - are often the same those most affected by HIV criminalization. Although Texas does not have a criminal law specific to HIV, prosecutors are given the freedom to view HIV as “a deadly weapon” even in cases where body fluid (saliva) exchange has never been shown to be a vector of HIV.79 Add to this comes that the criminalization of HIV neither prevents certain behavior nor stops its transmission.
Abortion is a safe medical procedure made clear by the Roe v. Wade was legalized in 1973. Almost 50% of all American women have unwanted pregnancies, and nearly 25% have had an abortion by the age of 45.80 Still, state lawmakers support anti-abortion laws. HJR 28 beats z. B. proposed denying access to government funds to individuals or organizations performing voluntary abortions81, while HB 128 would similarly prohibit the use of government funds for abortions, thereby harming both hospitals and patients.82 Bill HB 138 criminalizes Women who choose certain safe abortion procedures and would further limit abortion options in Texas.83 Bill HB 43 supports requirements for no resuscitation orders for pregnant women that could complicate abortion.84 Senate Bills 885, 25886, and 41587 would prohibit the safest medical interventions, burden abortionists with giving their contact details to religious anti-abortionists, and those who fund the transportation of donated tissue for life-saving medical research, a serious crime have to. These bills have resulted in nearly a quarter of a million Texans trying to self-abort since 2010.88


Civil Society Reactions

A variety of organizations work to promote the health of Houston residents. Texans Living with HIV (TLHIV), a Texas-wide network of advocates, works with those affected to set up their own catalog of topics, hold lawmakers accountable, improve their quality of life, end their isolation and the stigma they carry in the general public The Houston Area Women's Center and the Tahirih Justice Center are among the organizations working in Houston to advocate women's issues regarding access to abortion clinics and the escape from domestic violence. Daya Houston supports women and families in South Asia affected by domestic and sexual violence, while Asians Against Domestic Abuse provides resources and assistance to abused Asian women. Endorsing health services for all, Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services connects Houston residents and, like Lone Star Legal Aid, provides counseling for low-income Texas workers to help them access health care and other services. El Centro de Corazón provides medical care to low-income minorities in Houston, the HOPE Clinic provides health services to underserved and / or linguistically isolated Asian communities, and Legacy Community Health fills gaps in health care. Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts supports the health development of disadvantaged young people and adults through cultural programs.


Despite the challenges posed by Texas law, Houston is a model for proactive public-private partnerships in civil society to tackle hatred and defend civil rights in the city. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in America rose to 917 in 2016, with the largest increase of almost 200% over the previous year being seen in anti-Muslim groups.90 To counter this trend locally the city-wide Houston Coalition Against Hate has formed. It campaigns against discrimination against people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. The coalition of several civil rights groups wants to build stable bridges between public and private institutions in order to counteract the hatred and to tackle it at the roots by combating hate crimes and prejudice, pointing out available funds for affected communities, identifying and compensating deficits in certain services and brings about a common strategic force such as B. comes into play in working with law enforcement agencies and the Ministry of Justice.

As the Mayor's Welcoming Houston Initiative, the efforts of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, the Houston Coalition Against Hate, and the Department of Justice and local communities work show, Houston is poised to be not only the most diverse city, but also the most pluralistic city to be in the US - d. H. a place where citizens accept differences as strengths and want to actively learn from their diversity.

Houston's strong ethnic media can cover even more of the organizations mentioned in this article in order to raise awareness of these issues among the respective minorities. It certainly takes an entire village to bring about positive social change. The village of Houston - with its resilient and responsive civil society - is ready for this.

Translation from the American by Birgit Frank.

ZAHRA NASIRUDDIN JAMAL Born 1978, Dr. phil., is Associate Director at the Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance at Rice University, Houston / Texas; She is currently working on a project on voluntarism and civic engagement with Shia Nizari Ismaili Muslims, the supporters of HH Karim Aga Khan IV. Most important publication: "Charitable Giving among Muslim Americans: Ten Years after 9/11 (2011)".

1 Meyerson, Harold. "Blue Cities, Red States." LA Times. 7 Mar. 2016. www.latimes.com/opinion/oped/la-oe-0307-meyerson-city-state-divisions-20160307-story.html. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

2 Graham, David, A. "Red State, Blue City." The Atlantic. Mar 2017. www.theatlantic.com/magazine/
archive / 2017/03 / red-state-blue-city / 513857. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

3 Randy Capps, Michael Fix, and Chiamaka Nwosu, "A Profile of Immigrants in Houston, the Nation’s
Most Diverse Metropolitan Area, “Migration Policy Institute (March 2015), pp. 1, 2, 3, available at

4 Ibid.

5 Randy Capps, Michael Fix, and Chiamaka Nwosu, see note 3.

6 Ibid.

7 Schneider, Andrew. “Red State, Blue Cities?” Houston Public Media. 11 Jul 2017. www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2017/07/11/220845/red-state-blue-cities-local-control-battles-set-todominate-special-session. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

8 "Welcoming Houston Task Force Offers Recommendations on Immigrant Integration." 20 Apr.
2017. www.houstonimmigration.org/welcoming-houston-task-force-offers-recommendations-immigrant-integration. Accessed Jan. 10, 2018.

9 “New Americans in Houston”, New American Economy (Aug. 2016), p. 1, available at www.renewoureconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/HOUSTON-Factsheet_FINAL_New-Logo.pdf.

10 “Immigrants in US Fact Sheet.” American Immigration Council. 4 Oct. 2017. www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigrants-in-texas. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

11 Senate Bill 514. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Jan. 17, 2017, legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB514/2017

12 Senate Bill 4th Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Passed 7 May 2017, legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB4/2017

13 "Federal Judge blocks Texas' tough 'sanctuary cities' law." Associated Press. 31 Aug 2017. www.cnbc.com/2017/08/31/federal-judge-blocks-texas-tough-sanctuary-cities-law.html. Accessed 3
Jan. 2018.

14 Aguilar, Julian. "Texas back in federal court over anti-sanctuary cities’ law. "Texas Tribune. 7 Nov
2017. www.texastribune.org/2017/11/07/texas-sanctuary-cities-law-federal-court. Accessed Jan 3

15 Ura, Alexa. "Texas Officially Withdraws from Refugee Resettlement Program." Texas Tribune. 30 Sep 2016. www.texastribune.org/2016/09/30/texas-officially-withdraws-refugee-resettlementpr/ Accessed 3 Jan. 2018.

16 Liptak, Adam. "Supreme Court Allows Trump Travel Ban to Take Effect." NY Times. 4 Dec 2017.
www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/us/politics/trump-travel-ban-supreme-court.html. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

17 Kim, E. Tammy. "Immigrants reshape Houston, America’s most diverse metropolis." Aljazeera. 27 Aug. 2014. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/26/immigrants-reshapehoustonamericasmostdiversemetropolis.html. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

18 “Welcoming Houston Initiative Launched.” Houston Immigration. 11 Aug. 2016. www.houstonimmigration.org/welcoming-houston-initiative-launched/. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

19 "Refugees in the US quickly pay more in taxes than they get in benefits, according to new research." Quartz. 15 Jun. 2017. http://qz.com/1005073/new-research-shows-refugees-in-the-us-pay-moreto-government-than-they-receive/. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

20 See www.houstonimmigration.org. Accessed Jan 10, 2018.

21 Ibid.

22 Kocchar, Rakesh et al. "Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics." Pew Social Trends. 26 Jul. 2011. www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/26/wealth-gaps-rise-to-recordhighs-between-whites-blacks-hispanics. Accessed Jan 10, 2018.

23 Dunklee, Caitlin and Rebecca Larsen. "Setting the Record Straight on Texas" Prison Reform "" UT News. 10 Aug. 2015, http://news.utexas.edu/2015/08/10/setting-the-record-straight-on-texas-prison-reform. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018
24 McCullough, Julie. "Dip in Prison Population Continues Trend." Texas Tribune. 25 Sep 2015, www.texastribune.org/2015/09/25/slight-dip-in-texas-prisoner-population-trend. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

25 “State Reforms Reverse Decades of Incarceration Growth.” Pew Trusts. 21 Mar. 2017, www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2017/03/state-reforms-reverse-decades-of-incarceration-growth. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

26 Knack, Francis. "Over-Incarceration- Help Us End This Texas Tradition." American Civil Liberties Union. 23 Mar. 2012. www.aclutx.org/en/news/over-incarceration-help-us-end-texas-tradition. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

27 Ibid.

28 Silver, Jonathan. "Texas Prisons Ponder Cutting $ 250 Million." Texas Tribune. 3 Aug. 2016. www.texastribune.org/2016/08/03/prisons-agency-could-see-250-million-budget-cuts. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

29 Vinegar, Chris, et. al. "Here's what's at stake for Texas universities in legislature's budget fight." Te-xas Tribune. 9 May 2017. www.texastribune.org/2017/05/09/see-how-much-each-universitywould-receive-house-senate-budget-proposa/ Accessed 3 Jan. 2018

30 factfinder.census.gov

31 "Death Row Information." Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice. 15 Dec 2017. www.tdcj.state.tx.us/death_row/dr_gender_racial_stats.html. Accessed Jan 3

32 McCullough, Jolie. "Prosecutor asks for current medical standards in death penalty evaluations." Texas Tribune. 3 Nov. 2017. www.texastribune.org/2017/11/03/death-penalty-bobby-moore-kimogg/. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

33 House Bill 81st Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Nov. 14, 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB81/2017

34 Senate Joint Resolution 17. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Nov. 14, 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SJR17/2017

35 Senate Joint Resolution 18. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Nov. 14, 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SJR18/2017

36 House Bill 1125. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Jan. 18, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1125/2017

37 Senate Bill 380. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, introduced Dec. 20. 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB380/2017

38 House Bill 548. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, introduced Dec. 8. 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB548/2017

39 Troisi, Catherine, et. al. "Perceived Needs of Homeless Persons inHouston / Harris County, 2012." Homeless Houston. 2012. www.homelesshouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2012NeedsAssessmentReport-Aug23.pdf. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

40 "ACLU of Texas Files Suit on Behalf of Homeless Houstonians." American Civil Liberties Union. 16 May 2017. www.aclu.org/news/aclu-texas-files-suit-behalf-homeless-houstonians. Accessed Jan 3

41 "About Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act." Dept. of Justice. 4 Dec 2017, www.justice.gov/crt/about-section-5-voting-rights-act. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

42 Malewitz, Jim. "Texas House backs voter ID overhaul, with changes." Texas Tribune. 23 May 2017. www.texastribune.org/2017/05/23/texas-house-backs-voter-id-overhaul-changes. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

43 Malewitz, Jim. "Federal judge tosses new Texas voter ID law; state plans to appeal. "Texas Tribune. 23 Aug 2017. www.texastribune.org/2017/08/23/federal-judge-tosses-new-texas-voter-id-law/ Accessed 3 Jan. 2018

44 Ura, Alexa and Jim Malewitz. "Federal court invalidates part of Texas congressional map." Texas Tribune. 15 Aug 2017. www.texastribune.org/2017/08/15/federal-court-invalidates-part-texascongressional-map. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018
45 ibid.

46 "Adults in the Houston metro area." Pew Forum. N.D. www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/metro-area/houston-metro-area/#social-and-political-views. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

47 "ADL Audit: Anti-Semitic Assaults Rise Dramatically Across the Country in 2015." Anti-Defamation League. 22 Jun. 2016. www.adl.org/news/press-releases/adl-audit-anti-semitic-assaults-risedramatically-across-the-country-in-2015. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

48 ibid.

49 Ibid.

50 “6th Wave of Bomb Threats Targeting the Jewish Community.” Anti-Defamation League. N.D. www.adl.org/news/article/6th-wave-of-bomb-threats-targeting-the-jewish-community5. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

51 "The Empowerment of Hate: Civil Rights Report 2017." Council for American-Islamic Relations. 2017. pp. 6. http://islamophobia.org/images/2017CivilRightsReport/2017-Empowerment-of-Fear-Final.pdf. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

52 Ibid.

53 "The Empowerment of Hate: Civil Rights Report 2017." Council for American-Islamic Relations. 2017. pp. 8. http://islamophobia.org/images/2017CivilRightsReport/2017-Empowerment-of-Fear-Final.pdf. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

54 Ibid.

55 DelReal, Jose A. "Trump:‘ I Think Islam Hates Us ’." The Washington Post. March 9, 2016. www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/03/09/trump-i-think-islam-hates-us/?utm_term=.35e497cba996.

56 Matharu, Hardeep. "Doctors, Veterans and Students Tweet Donald Trump Photos of Their‘ Muslim IDs ’Following His Calls for a Database." The Independent. November 24, 2016.

57 Jacobson, Louis. "Trump Wrong‘ There's No Real Assimilation ’by US Muslims." Politifact. June 18, 2016. www.politifact.com/nbc/statements/2016/jun/18/donald-trump/donald-trump-wrong-theres-no-real-assimilation-us-/.

58 Michael Lipka "Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world "www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/09/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-andaround-the-world. 9 Aug 2017.

59 "The Empowerment of Hate: Civil Rights Report 2017." Council for American-Islamic Relations. 2017. pp. 15. http://islamophobia.org/images/2017CivilRightsReport/2017-Empowerment-of-Fear-Final.pdf. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

60 Senate Bill 89. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Nov. 14, 2016, http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB89/2017

61 Ura, Alexa. "Businesses say anti-LGBT bills could cost Texas billions." Texas Tribune. 6 Dec 2016. www.texastribune.org/2016/12/06/texas-businesses-say-bathroom-bill-could-cost-texa/. Accessed Jan 10, 2018.

62 Senate Bill 651. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Jan. 27, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB651/2017

63 House Bill 2878. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Mar. 3, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB2878/2017

64 Senate Bill 2096. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Mar. 10, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB2096/2017

65 House Bill 3856. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Mar. 10, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB3856/2017

66 Senate Bill 522. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Apr. 12, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB522/2017

67 House Bill 1813. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Feb. 13, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1813/2017

68 House Bill 2795. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Mar. 3, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB2795/2017

69 House Bill 1805. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Feb. 13, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB1805/2017

70 House Bill 3859. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Jun. 15, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB3859/2017

71 Senate Bill 892. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Feb. 14, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB892/2017

72 Senate Bill 1536. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Mar. 8, 2017. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB1536/2017

73 House Bill 428. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Nov. 21, 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/HB428/2017

74 Senate Bill 92. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Nov. 14, 2016. http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB92/2017

75 Senate Bill 6th Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Mar. 15, 2017, http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB6/2017

76 Senate Bill 242. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced Nov. 17, 2016, http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB242/2017

77 Senate Bill 2078. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Introduced May 10, 2017, http://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB2078/2017

78 "LGBTQ Coalition Speaks Out Against Anti-Transgender Bills on Day of Testimony in Senate Committee." American Civil Liberties Union. 21 Jul. 2017. www.aclutx.org/en/press-releases/LGBTQ-coalition-speaks-out-against-anti-transgender-bills-day-testimony-senate. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

79 Alfred, Chip. “Reforming HIV laws in Texas.” AU Magazine. 21 Sep 2017. http://aumag.org/2017/09/21/reforming-hiv-laws-in-texas. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

80 www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

81 House Joint Resolution 28. Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced 13 Jul. 2017, www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=851&Bill=HJR0028

82 House Bill 128th Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Jul. 12, 2017, www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=851&Bill=HB00128

83 House Bill 138th Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Jul 13, 2017, www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=851&Bill=HB00138

84 House Bill 43rd Texas State Legislature, 85 (1) session, Introduced Jul. 10, 2017, www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=851&Bill=HB00043

85 Senate Bill 8th Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Passed Jun 6, 2017, https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB8/2017

86 Senate Bill 258th Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Engrossed Mar. 30, 2017, https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB258/2017

87 Senate Bill 415. Texas State Legislature, 85th session, Engrossed Mar. 20, 2017, https://legiscan.com/TX/bill/SB415/2017

88 Khazan, Olga. "Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions." The Atlantic. Nov. 17, 2015, www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/11/texas-self-abort/416229. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018

89 Alfred, Chip. "Reforming HIV Laws in Texas." AU Magazine. 21 Sep 2017. http://aumag.org/2017/09/21/reforming-hiv-laws-in-texas. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.

90 "Hate groups increase for second consecutive year as Trump electrifies radical right." Southern Poverty Law Center. 15 Feb 2017. www.splcenter.org/news/2017/02/15/hate-groups-increase-second-consecutive-year-trump-electrifies-radical-right. Accessed Jan. 3, 2018.