A crazy shoving match and near-fight started over some words on the Texas House floor on Monday, the final day of a bitterly contentious 140-day legislative session.
“This session has been very, very difficult,” said Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin. “There are enough of us here who remember a time in Texas when respect and decorum ruled the day.”
With Rinaldi stating that his life was in fact threatened.
— KVUE News (@KVUE) May 29, 2017
As written for DallasNews.com by Brandi Grissom and Robert T. Garrett:
Those rules flew out the House door when a group of protesters crashed the chamber’s gallery Monday, chanting opposition to the so-called sanctuary cities ban. Legislators approved a bill this year that would force local governments to enforce federal immigration laws, what opponents call a show-me-your-papers law.
As they protested, Latino Reps. Ramon Romero and Cesar Blanco, both Democrats, waved to the noisy crowd. Republican Matt Rinaldi of Irving, a fervent supporter of the anti-immigration legislation, approached the Latino Democrats. They said Rinaldi told them he had called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to report the protesters, who were largely Hispanic.
In a prepared statement, Rinaldi said he called ICE officials to report the protesters who held signs that declared they were unauthorized immigrants. The protesters became so noisy that security officials escorted many of them from the House gallery. Rinaldi said that he rebuked his colleagues for “inciting” the protesters, “which are illegal,” and that the House members threatened him physically.