Dickinson residents seeking Harvey relief aid must sign agreement, will not boycott Israel

DICKINSON, Texas-- For Dickinson residents Friday morning was spent cleaning up fallen trees, broken fences and streets covered in debris after high winds ripped through the small town.

"Around 5 am we woke up to a thunderstorm and some shaking of the house. It felt like a train coming through. It's been a little tough of a year," Gary Harshbarger said.

The tornado came as a shock to most residents who are still recovering from Harvey.

Those seeking Harvey relief from the city's grant fund got quite a surprise when they went to fill out the application form.

The form reads that you will not receive benefits unless you agree to not boycott Israel.

Civil rights attorney, Randall Kallinen said the clause is a violation of the first amendment.

"Relief should be granted regardless of their political view point," Kallinen said.

Back in May, Governor Greg Abbott signed the anti-boycott, divestments and sanctions bill. The law bans state entities from working with any businesses that boycott Israel. Something the city of Dickinson appears to be trying to enforce. But the ACLU said it's not the same thing!

"Dickinson is mistaken that this has to apply to individuals and that should be corrected. This definitely should not apply to individuals because even the state law does not require that it be applied to individuals, just to companies. The fact that the state of Texas has passed a law which says that companies cannot engage in free speech is also against the Constitution," Kallinen said.

The city of Dickinson has not responded to our requests for comment.