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Billboard denounces Sen. Flake for involvement with immigration bill

Immigration reform opponents show an example of a new billboard near Sky Harbor Airport that denounces Sen. Jeff Flake's involvement with the "Gang of Eight" senators. (Photo: Bob McClay, KTAR)

PHOENIX -- A new billboard is going up in Phoenix that encourages Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake to disassociate himself with the so-called "Gang of Eight" senators that are trying to push an immigration bill through the U.S. Senate.

The billboard is located near 32nd street and the I-10 freeway, just south of Sky Harbor Airport.

Its supporters picketed outside of Flake's Phoenix office Tuesday to say the plan is a form of amnesty that would offer a path to citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants who are already in the country. They claimed the proposed bill would also bring 33 million foreign workers into the U.S.

Former Valley car dealer Rusty Childress said that would be bad news for about 20 million Americans who are already citizens and looking for work.

"That is a lot of competition to bring that much foreign labor, both legal and illegal immigration, into this country," said Childress. "It (the country) just can't handle the competition. This is bad timing."

Childress said the bill mirrors what he calls the failed policies of the 1986 amnesty plan.

Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce said the U.S. should do something to encourage the illegal immigrants currently in this country to leave.

"Give them no jobs. Stop them with traffic stops. Don't give them any free stuff. Enforce the law like any other law we have on the books. It's not hard to do," said Pearce.

Pearce, the co-author of Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law in 2010, said the Obama administration should stand behind American law.

"Why are we apologizing for enforcing our laws?," Pearce asked. "Why do we apologize for standing up for Americans? Why do we apologize for demanding that Americans have the first right to those jobs? Why do we apologize for demanding a secure border? Why? Why? Shame on those that do! Shame on them!"

About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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