Speak English, State Senator Chris Harris Tells Witness

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Republican Chris Harris, from Arlington, was highly insulted when a man testifying against the "sanctuary cities" bill had the gall to make his viewpoint known to elected officials in his native language.

Antolin Aguirre of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, who's been in the U.S. since 1988, spoke in Spanish because, his interpreter told Harris, it was his first time testifying before the Senate.

It started about two minutes into the testimony, when Harris's no doubt great depths of patience, sympathy and empathy with immigrants had, by then, been sorely tested.

"Did I understand him correctly that he has been here since 1988?" Harris asked. "Why aren't you speaking in English then?"

He got the explanation about Aguirre being nervous.

"It is insulting to us," Harris responded. ""It is very insulting. And if he knows English, he needs to be speaking in English."

Somehow, we're guessing Harris is one of those Americans who -- if he ever does travel abroad -- gets highly annoyed at the different money and the fact that the people in Paris don't speak damn English like they should.

Way to rep, Rep.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.