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Supporting Arizona's attempt to enforce immigration law

A group of local residents affiliated with the Fallbrook Tea Party gathered Thursday, July 29 at the corner of South Mission Road and Fallbrook Street to show their support for the day officials in the state of Arizona said they were going to begin enforcing immigration laws.

Carrying signs and waving at motorists, the group demonstrated from approximately 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.

“This has nothing to do with race; it’s just about enforcing federal and state laws,” said Katey Pfeil, a 2004 graduate of Fallbrook High School, who was participating in the demonstration along with her mother, Sherry.

“We are simply supporting the fact that Arizona is enforcing the law,” said Sherry Pfeil.

Many passersby honked their horns in approval, cheered from their windows, and waved in a friendly manner to the group.

“Overall we’ve had a really good response today to being out here,” said Tea Party member Dan Dakovich.

As of 12:30 p.m., participant Christine Moosa said the group had only experienced five negative responses to its activity.

“We did have about five unfriendly hand gestures,” said Moosa.

Moosa said the enforcement of immigration law is critical, in her opinion.

“We have this law on the books and we are not enforcing it,” she said. “When you start picking and choosing which [laws] to enforce, you get chaos.”

In April of this year, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into effect SB 1070, an immigration bill that would become active July 29 and make it a state crime for an individual not to carry proof of legal immigration status.

Several in the Tea Party group commended Brewer, a Republican, for her bold action on enforcing the immigration law. Brewer has told the press that she signed the bill in response to a spike in violence along Arizona’s U.S./Mexican border.

“We love Jan Brewer; she’s a brave lady,” said Sherry Pfeil.

Meanwhile, the United States Department of Justice took the state to court to stop the implementation of the bill. United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton (Arizona) upheld parts of the law but struck down some aspects, which have created controversy.

According to the Arizona Daily Star newspaper, Bolton did not want to require police officers to check the immigration status of those stopped if there is a reason to suspect they are in the United States illegally. In addition, she was opposed to forbidding police to release anyone they have arrested until that person’s immigration status is verified; requiring anyone who is not a citizen to carry documentation or face a violation; making it a new state crime for an illegal resident to try and secure work; and more.

Brewer has appealed the judge’s injunction and has asked for a decision to be made “quickly.”

Tea Party groups throughout the United States demonstrated their support for Brewer and enforcement of the immigration law by staging public events the day the law was to go into effect.

The Fallbrook Tea Party, organized by local residents Cliff and Laura Sumrall, held its most recent meeting just two days prior to the demonstration.

“We had between 145 and 150 show up on Tuesday, July 27,” said Dakovich. “We have more and more new people continuing to come into the organization and are continuing to get a little larger.”

According to Tea Party member Jim Bowles, the “Support Arizona” event was organized at the July 27 meeting that was held to provide General Election information to the public.

“The Tea Party Patriot movement is truly a grass-roots movement with over fifteen million members nationwide and over one-hundred and fifty local groups within California alone,” said Bowles.

Information on the Fallbrook Tea Party can be found on the Facebook social networking site, said Bowles.

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