ICE: No record of call from Texas representative

Violet Tucker
June 1, 2017

Hundreds of protesters from across Texas and the nation descended upon the Capitol on the final day of the Legislature to protest against the state's newly signed sanctuary cities ban, filling the Texas House's gallery in red shirts and unveiling banners that read "See you at the polls".

GOP representative Matt Rinaldi claimed on Monday that he was assaulted after he told two Democratic reps that he'd called Immigration and Customs Enforcement on immigrant demonstrators who'd gathered to protest Texas's latest anti-sanctuary city bill.

The noise drowned out lawmakers, leading the House session to be stopped and state troopers called in to remove the protesters.

Signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott earlier this month, it requires local police departments to enforce federal immigration laws.

In a news conference following the dust-up Democrats alleged that Rinaldi threatened to shoot Democrat Poncho Nevarez. He had accused Democratic Representative, Poncho Nevarez, of threatening his life after he called immigration authorities over "several illegal immigrants who held signs in the gallery which said 'I am illegal and here to stay'". Senate Bill 4 will take affect in Texas on September 1.

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"I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, 'get me, ' I would shoot him in self defense", the Texas Republican said, adding he is now under official protection. "He's lucky that there were more people around because, while pushing and shoving and anything beyond that isn't acceptable and shouldn't happen out there and I'm sorry it happened, the fact is, he's asking for it", Nervarez said.

While Democrats are now apologizing for their end of the ensuing scuffle, they still say it's Rinaldi's fault.

Rinaldi went on to allege that another Democrat Representative had "physically assaulted" him, while "other Democrats were held back by colleagues".

"They showed up at the state house and granted they were a little unruly and they may not know the rules of the chamber, but they were there acting on democracy", he said. Rep. Ramon Romero, a Democrat from Fort Worth, said he was standing with fellow Democratic Rep. Cesar Blanco of El Paso when Republican colleague Matt Rinaldi came over and said: "This is BS. But I'm just one of the folks up there", he said of the protesters. But it was enough for Rinaldi to request DPS protection.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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