The Texas Tribune is reporting that the last day of the regular session of the Texas Legislature was marked by Pushing, shoving, cursing, and alleged threats of violence on the floor of the Texas House. At issue was the so-called sanctuary city bill that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had signed into law and a demonstration that took place in the gallery of the House chamber.

Sanctuary City bill passed

The Texas Legislature has passed a so-called Sanctuary City Bill that requires local city and county government to cooperate with federal immigration officials by detaining suspects found to be in the United States illegally. The bill also prohibits any local government entity from forbidding law enforcement asking the immigration status of people with whom they have encounters, for example at traffic stops.

Hispanic lawmakers claim that the law will foster racial profiling and will cause illegal immigrants not to want to cooperate with law enforcement during criminal investigations. Supporters of the law counter that it will help federal authorities to enforce immigration laws and will stop local governments from impeding such enforcement.

Demonstrators in the House gallery

When hundreds of protesters entered the House gallery, wearing red shirts, carrying banners, and chanting slogans, State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving announced that he had called ICE, claiming that several of the demonstrators were carrying signs that proclaimed, “I am illegal, and I’m here to stay.” Eventually, police arrived to remove the protesters from the gallery.

The rally continued outside the Texas state capitol.

Hispanic lawmakers enraged at Rinaldi

Several Hispanic lawmakers became enraged at Rinaldi, claiming that he was racially profiling the demonstrators. They were cheering on the protesters when the pushing, shoving, and cursing began with both Democrats and Republicans participating in the altercation.

Rinaldi, it is said, made his boast at this point he had called ICE on the demonstrators.

Rinaldi accuses fellow lawmaker of making a threat, responds with one of his own

Rep. Rinaldi claimed that during the altercation that one of the Hispanic lawmakers threatened to “come get him.” Rinaldi is said to have replied that he would “--put a bullet in your head” to the other representative were that to happen.

He also claimed that he is now under the protection of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Decorum collapses in the Texas House

The breakdown of decorum in the Texas House illustrates how contentious the immigration issue is in the Lone Star State. Things may not be over yet. Political observers are betting that Gov. Abbott will call the legislature into special session to complete work on a transgender bathroom bill, which has sparked controversy as passionate at the sanctuary city bill did, and property tax reform.