At first, this quinceañera seems totally normal; there are girls in big dresses, ready for their big day. However, the event is anything but normal. These Texas girls are celebrating their “quinceañera” at the Capitol as a way to protest the anti-immigration bill, Senate Bill 4, that was passed by Governor Greg Abbott during Texas’s most recent legislative session.
The idea for the quince on the Capitol came from Jolt, a Texas-based organization that “builds the political power and influence of Latinos in our democracy.” The demonstration, which will take place on Wednesday, July 19th, encourages girls to oppose this detrimental bill by standing up and uniting, dressed in their quince best.
The actual premise of this protest is simple. 15 girls, including one of the quince’s organizers, Viridiana ‘Viri’ Sanchez, will go to the Capitol, wearing their dresses in the summer heat. There, they’ll take turns reciting 15 reasons why they’re against SB 4. There will also be choreographed dances, and the girls will be able to interact with lawmakers. Some of the girls attending the event are undocumented, like Sanchez.
This bill is being compared to Arizona’s “show me your papers” bill, which allows police officers to ask for proof of immigration status based solely on appearances. This is dangerous territory, and the hope of this quince is for lawmakers in Texas to rethink their position on why they need this bill in the first place. As for the goal of the event, Sanchez told Mitu,
Even if you can’t make it, you can still show support by tagging your own quince pictures with #15contrasb4 and #bastaSB4. We’re crossing our fingers that this is a fight these girls win.