Protest sparks lawmaker threats of gun violence

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Amid hundreds of protestors opposing Texas' new anti-sanctuary cities law in Texas House's public gallery on Monday, lawmakers got involved in scuffle on the floor below and threats of gun violence also erupted.

At this point, Rinaldi says that Romero "physically assaulted" him, and that another Democratic lawmaker, Poncho Nevarez, threatened to "get" Rinaldi on his way to his auto.

It was a reportedly a peaceful protest until a Republican lawmaker told members of the House's Mexican American Legislative Caucus that he had called the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because, according to him, some protesters were chanting, "I am illegal and here to stay".

"I made it clear", Rinaldi said in a statement posted on Twitter, "that if he attempted to, in his words, 'get me, ' I would shoot him in self defense".

Today, Representative Poncho Nevarez threatened my life on the House floor after I called ICE on several illegal immigrants who held signs in the gallery which said "I am illegal and here to stay". "His phone call to ICE to detain Hispanic protesters and immigrants only highlights the institutional racism this body embraced this session by passing SB 4".

"There was a subsequent exchange between my brother Poncho and Representative Rinaldi and there was a threat made from Rinaldi to put a bullet in one of my colleague's heads", Representative Justin Rodriguez told reporters after the incident.

As Reps. Cesar Blanco, Phil Cortez, and myself celebrated the enthusiasm for civic engagement being shown, Rep. Rinaldi felt the need to break up our appreciation by telling us he had called ICE to deport the protesters in the gallery.

The chaos began around 11 a.m. EDT Monday on the last day of a bitter legislative session in Austin. Representative Rinaldi owes an apology to the Texas House and more importantly to the very people his hateful and disparaging comments were aimed at.

The bill essentially bans sanctuary cities in Texas.

Monday's protest was organized by activists who canvassed over Memorial Day weekend in Austin. "They were breaking the law".

Texas, which has an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants and the longest border with Mexico of any US state, has been at the forefront of the immigration debate.

Well, he claims he only called the ICE to encourage the pro-immigrant rights group to leave.

"And we will be, if we have a special session, convening only on the topics that I choose at the time of my choosing", Abbott said.

"If property tax relief and privacy do not pass in the special and they're blocked again, I will ask the governor to call us back again and again and again", Patrick said in a press conference earlier in the month.

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