On Monday, the final day of the Texas legislature’s current session, protesters filled the State House of Representatives, demonstrating against Senate Bill 4, a new law signed earlier this month that imposes penalties on “sanctuary cities,” or local administrations that intentionally fail to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The law also provides for criminal charges against officials who enforce sanctuary city policies. During the protest, Republican Rep. Matt Rinaldi reportedly claimed that he called immigration officials to report demonstrators, which sparked a physical confrontation with his Democratic colleagues, The American-Statesman reported.
Rinaldi reportedly addressed three Democratic representatives who he felt were inciting the protesters, which led to them pushing him. Rinaldi told the newspaper that they also threatened his life, but Rep. Philip Cortez said it was Rinaldi who threatened to put a bullet in fellow Democrat Poncho Nevarez .
Things first heated up between Rinaldi and the others after another Democrat, Rep. Ramon Romero Jr. reported that the Republican said he had called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to go after the protesters, many of whom marched in the capitol building chanting, “Here to stay!”
“F-ck them, I called ICE,” Romero claims Rinaldi said about the demonstrators. Rinaldi himself would not confirm to reporters whether he indeed called immigration officials.
Rinaldi and the Democrats were eventually separated.
[Image via screengrab]