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PHOTOS: Hundreds Fill Capitol Rotunda To Protest 'Sanctuary Cities' Law

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon
Protesters fill the Capitol rotunda in opposition to Senate Bill 4, the state's new "sanctuary cities" law.

Hundreds of protesters in red T-shirts gathered at the Capitol on Monday to protest passage of Senate Bill 4, the "sanctuary cities" law. As they were chanting their opposition to the law, a state representative said he called federal immigration agents, leading to a scuffle between lawmakers.

Members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus said state Rep. Matt Rinaldi threatened to shoot another lawmaker. In a statement, Rinaldi said he had been threatened and that the remark was made in self-defense.

Department of Public Safety officials eventually broke up the protest and cleared the gallery.

Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT
Nine-year-old Wendy and immigrant rights activists chant inside the Capitol after she reads a letter to Texas lawmakers, shaming them for passing SB 4.

SB 4, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this month, bans sanctuary cities and allows police to ask about a person's immigration status during a routine detention.

The law is scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, but not before it passes legal hurdles. Last week, the county of El Paso sued, asking a federal court to declare it unconstitutional. Austin City Council has also voted to sue over the law.

The City of Austin also asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton, seeking to preemptively declare the law constitutional. 

Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

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