Dallas Tea Party ready to defend Arizona immigration law

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on May 25, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 25 at 10:22 PM

DALLAS — A resolution condemning Arizona's new law requiring that officers question people who they suspect may be illegal could soon come before the Dallas City Council — and that could lead to more protests.

North Texas tea party backers have shown they can turn out crowds to protest government spending. Phillip Dennis, who founded the Dallas Tea Party, says his organization is ready to put people in the streets if the Council considers the resolution against the Arizona immigration law.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that our members would want to jump into that," Dennis said.

City Council member Delia Jasso said she has enough signatures from fellow Council members to bring up a resolution protesting the Arizona law. She said it doesn't call for a boycott, but is a statement that Arizona's law is the wrong direction to take.

But Dennis said tea party members will be letting the Council know their point of view with volume. "We would turn out, I'm sure, several hundred people out of the Dallas Tea Party that live in Dallas that want to let the City Council know that they reject any effort to criticize or to boycott or to censor the state of Arizona over their immigration reform," he said.

But Jasso's resolution will get vocal support as well.

The May 1 Mega March that turned out at least 28,000 demonstrators may not be the last time people protest the Arizona immigration law in Dallas. The proposed City Council resolution will bring some of them out again, according to Carlos Quintanilla, one of the Mega March organizers.

"I think Dallas, being a very large Hispanic immigrant community, should send a message to Arizona that what they did there is unacceptable," Quintanilla said. "I think we would come out in mass numbers to support her efforts."

Jasso has yet to release the details of her resolution.

In the meantime, some Dallas tea party supporters will soon be leaving to take part in a Stand With Arizona rally in Tempe, Arizona this Saturday.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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