Tea Party protesters rally in Arizona

Aug. 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM
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HEREFORD, Ariz., Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Hundreds of members of the conservative Tea Party assembled at an Arizona border town to protest lax enforcement of immigration laws, organizers say.

"Instead of finding bugs in our beds, we're finding home invaders," Tucson radio host Tony Venuti said in a New York Times story Monday.

Arizona is a front line in immigration reform and state lawmakers passed a tough immigration law earlier this year, part of which was blocked by a federal judge, the report said.

Among those in attendance was Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his sweeps in immigrant neighborhoods in Phoenix.

Arpaio told the crowd illegal immigration problems could be solved if the Border Patrol was given permission to collar migrants before they crossed from Mexico into the United States.

Another officer said the area around Hereford is a hot spot for illegal immigration.

"We're right at the point of the spear where human and dope smuggling takes place," Cochise County Sheriff Larry A. Dever said in the report. "These mountains are a beehive of activity."

The rally was held not far from where an Arizona rancher died in March in an incident that helped fuel the Arizona immigration debate, the report said.

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