Protests Over "Sanctuary Cities" Ban Rock Capitol On Legislative Session's Last Day

The episode was precipitated by hundreds of demonstrators, who arrived to protest a new law that ostensibly aims to crack down on "sanctuary cities" in the state; protesters argued that law was a draconian, "show me your papers"-type statute that would pave the way for racial discrimination by state officials".

The protesters were speaking out against State Bill 4, which requires that cities and counties in Texas go along with federal immigration authorities who ask they detain people suspected of living in the USA without proper documentation; critics are afraid this will lead to racial profiling. Texas governor Greg Abbott signed the measure into law earlier this month.

Because of the protests, the Texas House leadership stopped the Memorial Day session and asked state troopers to clear the gallery.

Nevárez also acknowledged that the protesters in the capitol on Monday became "unruly", but defended their actions, arguing that they might not be familiar with the rules of the legislature.

State Rep. Ramon Romero described the incident in a statement on Twitter, saying that as he and other colleagues celebrated the voices being raised in protest, Rinaldi walked over to them and said "f*ck them, I called ICE".

Rinaldi said Nevarez told him "he would 'get me on my way to my vehicle.'" The Texas Republican responded with "I would shoot him in self-defense". "Several of my colleagues heard the threats made and witnessed Ramon [Romero] assaulting me".

A Texas lawmaker is claiming he was assaulted and verbally threatened by another lawmaker before threatening to use his gun in self-defense.

A Democratic member of the Texas House said he did not threaten the life of a Republican colleague during a scuffle on the House floor Monday. The new law compels local police to enforce federal immigration law or risk losing their jobs or even jail time.

After seeing the signs, Rep. Matt Rinaldi contacted ICE officials, according WSAW-TV. This angered Rinaldi's Democratic and Latino colleagues, who were almost moved to blows.

"The best thing you can say about it is it was the last day and they're not here staring at each other again", he added.

A state legislator in Texas is making headlines for calling immigration authorities on protesters and threatening to "put a bullet through the head" of a fellow representative on the floor of the Texas State House.

"We called law enforcement trying to incentivize them to leave the House", he told the Texas Tribune.

Nevarez told CNN that physical altercations should never happen on the House floor, which is why he challenged Rinaldi to bring the heated discussion outside.

  • Leroy Wright