This piece originally appeared on NBCNews.com.
Freedom of speech. It’s a pretty big deal; that’s why it’s the First Amendment of our Constitution. But according to one Texas legislator the First Amendment doesn’t apply to you if you look Latino.
On the last day of the Texas legislative session hundreds of protesters filled the Capitol to protest the recent signing into law of SB4, a measure that goes into effect this fall. Activists were dressed in red, waved banners and chanted their opposition to the law. It was boisterous, but nothing that the Legislature hadn’t seen before. It was, pure and simple, an exercise of free speech.
But Dallas County Republican state Rep. Matt Rinaldi seems to have an uninformed view of the Constitution. Rinaldi, a supporter of SB4, didn’t like what he was hearing from the protesters so he called immigration authorities.
Rinaldi sent out a statement saying he made the call.
On Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an e-mailed statement “ICE is not aware of receiving any calls related to this matter.”
There was no way for Rinaldi, or anyone else, to know who was undocumented or not. The crowd was overwhelmingly Latino and that was enough for the lawmaker to assume the need for a round up and mass deportation. Continue Reading