Born in 1982 and raised in Dallas, Texas, Victoria Neave earned a bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics from the University of Texas, and a JD from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2009. While in law school, she participated in a five-day hunger strike to bring attention to the need for …
Born in 1982 and raised in Dallas, Texas, Victoria Neave earned a bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics from the University of Texas, and a JD from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2009. While in law school, she participated in a five-day hunger strike to bring attention to the need for immigration reform – i.e., amnesty and all manner of civil rights and benefits for illegal aliens.
After completing her legal studies, Neave took a job as an attorney in the Complex Commercial Litigation group at the New York-based law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. She subsequently established her own law firm, representing individuals and businesses in civil litigation and employment law.
In January 2017, Neave objected strongly to President Donald Trump’s executive order declaring that “sanctuary” jurisdictions across the United States – i.e., locales requiring public employees to refrain from notifying the federal government about illegal aliens residing therein – would no longer be eligible to receive federal grants.
Soon thereafter, the Texas Senate approved a bill that would make it illegal for cities, counties and universities in the state to institute sanctuary policies, and would permit local law-enforcement agencies to ask people about their immigration status. Just before the Texas House of Representatives was scheduled to debate that same legislation in April 2017, Neave staged a four-day hunger strike to protest the bill. Neave characterized her action – which she said was inspired by the hunger strikes of the late civil-rights activist Cesar Chavez – as a spiritual exercise and “a form of personal sacrifice” by which she aimed “to give everything I can, everything of myself.” “We know that we don’t have the votes to defeat this bill, the sanctuary cities bill,” Neave elaborated. “And so I wanted to do something that would help bring attention to how bad [sic] this law will impact our families and our state. And so for me, that was doing it spiritually.”
Noting that her own father was now a U.S. citizen but had originally entered the country illegally, Neave told The Washington Post: “I feel like this [legislation] is an attack on my dad and millions of other families across our state.” Further, she said that she was “praying for a miracle,” and that dozens of other Texans were joining her in prayer and fasting, in hopes that their actions might “soften the hearts” of the state lawmakers who would soon be voting on the bill.
Lamenting that many illegal aliens were extremely worried about how the proposed legislation might affect their lives, Neave told KHOU.com: “We had more than 1,200 people come to an immigration informational and I could see the fear in their eyes. I have teachers come into my office, telling me about the fear their second-grade students are having about their parents being deported. This is a real fear in the community and it doesn’t just impact immigrants, it impacts, those of us with my color of skin. Even citizens will be required to prove citizenship upon arrest.” Moreover, Neave said that because of their fears of deportation, “people are not going to want to report a crime if they are a victim of a crime” – meaning that “this is going to make our communities less safe, not more safe.”
In addition to her work as an attorney and politician, Neave has also served as a member of the Dallas Civil Service Commission and as General Counsel to the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization.
Further Reading: “Victoria Neave” (House.Texas.gov, Ballotpedia.org); “Texas Lawmaker Whose Father Was an Illegal Immigrant in the U.S. Goes on Hunger Strike to Protest a Bill Banning Sanctuary Cities” (BreakingNewstime.com, 4-26-2017); “Texas Lawmaker on a Hunger Strike to Protest Anti-Sanctuary City Bill” (NBC News, 4-25-2017); “Texas Lawmaker on Four-Day Hunger Strike in Protest of ‘Sanctuary City’ Bill” (Washington Post, 4-25-2017); “Texas Congresswoman on 4-Day Hunger Strike to Protect Sanctuary Cities” (TruthRevolt.org, 4-25-2017).