There’s been no shortage of illegal immigrant protests over Donald Trump’s presidency with signs reading “undocumented and unafraid,” but if publicly declaring their immigration status, they now have something to fear.
Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives descended into chaos after protests over Senate Bill 4 (SB4), a bill signed into law Sunday by Governor Greg Abbott, that penalizes law enforcement officials who refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in detaining and turning over illegal aliens. It’s an anti-sanctuary city bill, obviously in line with President Trump’s immigration agenda at the national level.
Among those protesting were people publicly identifying as illegals — leading to even more chaos after Republican State Rep. Matt Rinaldi said he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the protesters. A number of protesters carried signs that proclaimed “I am illegal and here to stay.”
That’s when all hell broke loose, as, according to NPR:
[B]y the end of the state legislative session in Texas on Monday, the Capitol had devolved into scuffles and grave accusations. A Democratic lawmaker had accused his GOP colleague of threatening to “put a bullet” in another lawmaker’s head. That GOP state representative, meanwhile, accused a counterpart of threatening his life, saying he was prepared to use his gun in self-defense.
“He came up to us and said, ‘I’m glad I just called ICE to have all these people deported,'” state Rep. César Blanco said at a news conference after the incident, according to the Tribune. State Rep. Ramon Romero recalls blunter language: “He said, ‘I called ICE — f*** them.’ “
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 car.
Those protesters — along with many others holding similar signs — are pictured below:
Rinaldi and Nevarez both took to Twitter following the incident to give their respective accounts of what happened:
A statement regarding today. pic.twitter.com/M0BcBXa43P
— Matt Rinaldi (@MattRinaldiTX) May 29, 2017
He's a liar and hateful man. Got no use for him. God bless him. https://t.co/te13An7gwm
— Rep. Poncho Nevárez (@poncho_nevarez) May 29, 2017
There are no confirmed reports that ICE actually showed up or detained any protesters, but if protesters publicly out themselves as illegal, it’s a possible outcome.