(Reuters) – Tensions between Republicans and Democrats boiled over on the ground with the Texas Legislature on Monday as protesters filled the gallery on the last day from the session to denounce the latest law cracking upon cities giving sanctuary to illegal immigrants.
With the state run House of Representatives in Austin able to adjourn, a bystander's video showed one lawmaker appearing to shove a colleague as a couple of dozen others rushed together in the angry clutch before tempers cooled and the two sides separated.
Afterward, on the list of legislators in the center in the confrontation said in a statement on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) he was physically assaulted by using a Democratic colleague while another Democrat threatened his life.
Republican Matt Rinaldi's statement said this occurred after he told Democratic lawmakers which he had tipped off federal agents about defiant protesters who were holding signs declaring their illegal immigration status.
Rinaldi wouldn’t immediately return calls or emails seeking further comment.
The incident highlights the raw emotions stirred by Republican efforts to position Texas good priority that President Mr . trump has given to combating illegal immigration. Democrats, mostly representing towns that have defied federal policy, have condemned the crackdown.
Texas, which has an estimated 1.5 million illegal immigrants along with the longest border with Mexico of your U.S. state, has been at the forefront of the immigration debate.
A bill, which both chambers within the Republican-dominated legislature approved on party-line votes and Governor Greg Abbott signed into law on May 7, aims to punish local authorities who fail to honor requests to change over suspected illegal immigrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
It also allows police to question people regarding immigration status throughout a lawful detention, for even minor infractions like jay-walking.
Democrats have warned how the Texas law can lead to unconstitutional racial profiling. Civil rights groups have promised to cope with it in the courtroom.