Earlier Monday, demonstrators gathered in the Capitol to protest a recently signed law aimed at what have come to be known as "sanctuary cities" - or cities that, as NPR's Nina Totenberg put it, "have limited their cooperation with federal immigration authorities".
State Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas) slammed Rinaldi's decision to call ICE.
Well, he claims he only called the ICE to encourage the pro-immigrant rights group to leave. They informed anxious immigrants about the rights they retain despite the law and urged grass-roots resistance against it.
In the midst of the scuffle, which was recorded on video by several bystanders, Democratic Rep. Justin Rodriguez says he heard Rinaldi say something rather different to his colleague: "I'll put a bullet in his head". Other witnesses said the GO lawmaker "got into people's faces" and said, "I'm glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported". After about 40 minutes, they began to cheer, drowning out the lawmakers below. "That is a cornerstone of our democracy". They said the comment was made in the direction of Democratic Rep. Poncho Nevarez, from the border town of Eagle Pass.
Other Republican colleagues had the class and respect to apologize for Representative Rinaldi's behavior. "That kind of threatening language, he needs to be called out and held accountable for".
Rinaldi said Nevarez later "told me that he would 'get me on the way to my auto.'" Rinaldi said he responded by making it clear "I would shoot him in self-defense", adding that he is now under Texas Department of Public Safety protection. "I would shoot him in self defense". He said he is now under the protection of the Department of Public Safety as a result of the incident.
"Matt Rinaldi gave the flawless example of why there's a problem with SB 4", Romero added.
"He saw people that, whether he likes to accept it or not, in his heart, he has hate for those people, and he wants to see them gone". He racial profiled every single person that was in the gallery today.
We're fired up can't take it no more, we're fired up can't take it no more! The bill was viewed as a crackdown on Austin and other "sanctuary cities", a term that has no legal meaning but describes parts of the country where police are not tasked with helping enforce federal immigration law.
President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric has left immigrants across the country anxious for their safety. There were no reports of arrests.