Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives pushed through a controversial bill last week that cracks down on illegal immigration in ways that critics warn amount to racial profiling and targeting of the state’s Latino community. The moves by the GOP to cut off debate over the bill, dubbed the “Show Me Your Papers” law by its critics, has led to outrage throughout the political sphere, including an angry confrontation on the House floor that has made the rounds on social media.

Last Thursday, House Republicans invoked a little-used procedural move to cut short debate and the amendment process of HB4. According to NBC News, the bill that would allow local and state law enforcement officers to detain people suspected of having entered the country illegally and to remove them, essentially by forcibly taking them across the border to Mexico. Texas lawmakers have additionally passed legislation to impose strict penalties for human smuggling and to construct a border wall. Jennefer Canales-Pelaez of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center expressed the fears that many have concerning the broad powers that this bill seemingly gives to Texas law enforcement officials, telling NBC that “the way that the law is written is just so vague, so essentially it is just open season on people of color throughout the state of Texas.”

One of the most vocal critics of the bill last week was Democratic State Rep. Armando Walle, who represents Houston. Walle did not censor himself as he confronted his colleagues on the Texas House floor after Republicans cut off debate on the bill.  In a clip that has spread across social media, Walle can be seen speaking to supporters of the bill on the House floor, telling the Republican legislators that his community is “being attacked on a daily god****ed basis.” Walle tells his Republican counterparts that “I’ve been sitting there my whole god****ed time listening to y’all motherf**kers. It pisses me off. None of y’all motherf**kers know this s**t bro.”


While Walle was the most colorful in his confrontation with Texas Republicans, he is far from the only one criticizing the bill. Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos, who recorded the video of Walle and uploaded it, wrote on social media that supporters of the bill are “cowards” who “are silencing the voice of Texans across the state who chose US to represent them.”

Rep. Gina Hinojosa complained on social media that the bill would allow officers to seize American citizens who weren’t carrying ID and simply seize them and drop them off across the border. “No judge. No evidence,” she tweeted, adding, “This is not border security; this is insanity.”

Despite the opposition from Texas Democrats, these and other restrictive laws are likely to continue to be passed as long as Republicans control the Texas state government. And more fights over these laws will pop up in Texas and elsewhere as the Southern border remains a political lightning rod for controversy and partisan battles.