Gov. Abbott speaks at Republican Party fundraiser, protestors meet outside

Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-09 23:49:14-05

Hours before Governor Greg Abbott was set to speak at a fundraiser dinner for the Republican Party of McLennan County, protesters stood outside the building.

"I want my voice heard. I want just a voice for rationality," Eileen Smith, a protester, said.

A few dozens protesters gathered Thursday afternoon outside of Knox Hall at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco, changing things like "Greg Abbott we are here, hear our voices loud and clear" and "say it loud say it clear, refugees are welcome here."

Waco police officers asked the protester to move farther away from the building, creating a standoff for about an hour.

Protesters said they are fighting for justice.

"We don't want Governor Abbott, representing the policies he does, to come in and go out and our having said nothing,and indicated no kind of protest. Or no issue with these policies so we're here to, as best we can, the people we've been able to gather, we're here to make that statement," Laura Lysen, a protester, said.

The demonstrators were protesting policies including immigration, school vouchers and women's rights.

Governor Greg Abbott addressed some of those issues, including immigration. 

"What must be stopped is illegal immigration and the criminals who conspire with the cartels who import crime into our state," Abbott said.

He also addressed an increase in jobs across the state, and the four emergency issues that he mentioned in his State of the State address last week, including sanctuary cities.

"Officials who refuse to enforce immigration law, they should be defunded, they should be fined and they should be criminally prosecuted," Abbott said. "It is time for Texas to take a stand, it is time for Texas to ban sanctuary city policies in the lone star state."

Thursday night's dinner was the first fundraising dinner Abbott spoke at this year.

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