On Monday, the Texas state legislature finished up its session. Normally, it’s a calm affair, but not this time. First, according to The Austin American-Statesman, protesters showed up, voicing their opposition to Senate Bill 4, which bans sanctuary cities in the state. The demonstrators chanted “HERE TO STAY!” before eventually being removed.
Soon, there were rumblings throughout the chamber that Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) had told some colleagues that he had called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the protesters, since they were ostensibly saying they were undocumented immigrants. He wouldn’t confirm, and that’s when the pro wrestling-style, pull-apart brawl broke out.
“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.’ Several Democrats encouraged the protestors to disobey law enforcement. When I told the Democrats I called ICE, Representative Ramon Romero physically assaulted me, and other Democrats were held back by colleagues.
During that time Poncho told me that he would ‘get me on the way to my car.’ He later approached me and reiterated that ‘I had to leave at some point, and he would get me.’ I made it clear that if he attempted to, in his words, ‘get me,’ I would shoot him in self defense. I am currently under DPS protection. Several of my colleagues heard the threats made and witnessed Ramon assaulting me.”
It’s not yet clear if anyone will be charged or investigated over the incident.