NC man defends sign outside home after calls to take it down

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APEX, N.C. — A sign posted outside an Apex home is drawing a lot of attention and backlash for what the homeowner has written on it.

WTVD-TV reported that the sign outside Bryan Smith’s home reads, “Illegals are criminals. No amnesty. Close the border.”

He said it’s merely a definition, that if anyone comes to this country illegally, they are breaking a law and are therefore, a criminal.

Ashley Arellano of Apex does not see it that way. She passes by Smith’s house every day on her way to work. She took a picture of the sign last week and posted it on social media where she says hundreds of people agree with her that it needs to be taken down.

Arellano says grouping all illegal immigrants together and calling them criminals is not accurate. She says her husband and other close family members came to America from Mexico, illegally. Arellano says they’re all now taking the proper path to citizenship.

“You cannot single out just one you know, one group of people just because of their status whether they’re legal or not legal,” said Arellano. “It’s not right.”

This issue is also personal for Smith. He and his wife adopted two daughters more than 10 years ago; one is from Guatemala and the other is from Peru.

After paying significant amounts of money, jumping through hoops and struggling with both U.S. and foreign governments, he believes anyone coming to America should have to do it the right way.

“Nobody’s asking these people – don’t come,” said Smith. “Nobody in this country is saying, ‘Don’t come.’ We’re simply saying, ‘Come and do it the right way.'”

This isn’t the first sign Smith has posted outside his home over the years that has offended people who see it.

Apex Town Manager Bruce Radford tells ABC11, Smith is well within his rights to post a sign with political speech on his private property.


  • Tom

    I’m with Bryan. I’m legal and so are my kids. I’m for the rule of law and for the way that we’ve decided to rule.

  • Steve

    I don’t understand the problem. They are here illegally. Ashley Arellano’s husband and family are no different. She admits they are here illegally. Just because they are trying to get citizenship makes no difference. They should be deported then come back legally. It’s really simple!

  • Avea

    I love how all of you seem to feel so much hate. I’m positive that most of you did not try to educate yourself and are therefore arguing on pure ignorance (reading BIASED websites don’t count) learn about the reasons on why they HAD to commit a crime inorder be allowed the chance to make a better life for themselves and children. Most of your comments are invalid and done on “what you’ve been taught “ or what you heard or read from an ignorant or maybe just racist person. I realize that there are people in the world who simply don’t really care therefore I’m not going to try to argue. PROUD AMERICAN it seems like you’re one of those arrogant people. You said that “they FORCE you to learn their nimbo … language.” ? Who? &where is this taking place? I was not aware that “they” are forcing anyone to do anything. & referring to someone’s language as “nimbo ….” is disrespectful. & as for ALL of those people that ignorant enough to believe that all of “ illegals “ are Hispanic or latino as someone so called “corrected” themselves they’re not. I personally know some Middle Easterns and Asians who came to the USA illegally and who are still illegal. Read the Times etc &if they can come legally why would they risk their lives? do you know the percentage that die? Do you even care? Why would they come with such a disadvantage? Why would they come illegally to be put down by people such as yourselves? If their plan was to come to live off of “you” they would have to be legal. They can’t get any help without it. Just because it was your ancestors the ones who took that risk and your mother gave birth to you on this country doesn’t make you any better.

    • sally jane

      I’m far from being IGNORANT and I fully understand what ILLEGAL means……,it doesn’t make any difference what the reasons are for them coming here …if they crossed that border without going through the proper means they are breaking our laws and should not be able to stay here.I don’t understand what part of illegal you don’t understand…..,doesn’t make any difference “WHY”!!

    • Jay

      The whole illegal thing can hit home to some people. My family is Asian and they have gone through over EIGHTEEN YEARS of the naturalization process. That’s right, EIGHTEEN YEARS. We’re doing everything legally and they were FINALLY approved to come, but now there’s more red tape to go through to get them over here. Yes, some people are in a worse situation than others, however I do feel that people should be treated equally in becoming a new citizen. Some may say it’s harsh to think that way because of what situations some immigrants are in, but you have to be fair to all trying to come in. I personally do not like helping out illegals because of the trials, the money, and sheer amount of time my family has put into trying to get my family members legal citizenship in the US. For those who are going through all of the processes legally, regardless of situation, it is HIGHLY unfair and unjust to say that just because you can find a way to stay in the US illegally, you’ll be granted any privilege over those who are trying to make it here through all of the laws and red tape that were installed. Getting special privileges for illegal immigration is something that I don’t like. If others are willing to put in the time, effort, and money into doing things the right way and obeying the laws of the country they want to be a part of and contribute to, then I expect others to do the same.

    • Brian Delarmente

      Your the ignorant one you seem to think all people who don’t want illegals are the same. Your the one who has no idea what my family had to go through and how we still made it here legally and don’t pretend illegals get no help. Fraud is so rampant i am surrounded by “poor” illegal immigrants gaming the system literally with more food i can ever get and with a roof i wish i had.

  • its my business

    We have a border for a reason. It’s obviously NOT the Great Wall of China as it use to be, but nontheless, a border. Monitor it.Monitor it. Monitor it. I would rather pay taxes on that scenario than pay taxes on all the illegals that are crossing the “border”. What a joke. I am glad I do not live in California anymore. But living on the East Coast is still the same, not as bad. Illegal is iIlegal. Spend the tax $$$$$ to get them out. Perhaps a good way to start would be with the construction companies and the cotton or produce picker companies. Give the jobs to those around these areas that were born and raised here, legally. Enough said.

  • Dan

    OK…. You come across the border in a lawless way………… Ummmm I think that’s illegal. I can understand the drive to come to this nation to live the plunder and spoil. I personally feel this way. I put the uniform on and stood a post for our great nation. So with that being said, For the ones that’s here or has plans to come here. I feel that they also should put the uniform on also in the military for a period of time to prove your homage and show us the honor to live in this great nation. ” Just a soldiers point of view”! God Bless The USA

  • Free Speech??

    Like every issue in this counrty, we have grown so large as a nation that detail and complexity of any issue fall far beyond our ability to collect enough unbiased information to develop thoughtful, educated opinions . The article above seems to be more about this persons’ access to expressing Free Speech (on his own property). Is this no longer an important freedom to protect just because it meets with a difference of opinion? Are fundamental rights so many have died to preserve being given up without concern? You all respectfully express your opinions (with the freedom to do so) but have missed the fact that this person is being scrutinizes for exercising that same freedom. Are we not entitled to opinions (Freedom of Speech) any more if they don’t meet with public sympathy?? Yikes

  • Jocelyn

    Avea actually you clearly are the ignorant one bc the whole issue is they come here and get all the help! Medicaid food stamps wic public housing all while illegal. You should go sit in a social services office and see first hand. And really is this what our country has come to that a legal American should take his sign down because an illegal immigrant is offended by the exact thing her and her family did illegally.

  • Darlene Cooke Snow

    I don’t agree with him, but I 100% agree with his right to express his opinions on his own property. This man displaying this sign on his own private property is his right and unless there is some type of restriction by his HOA about displaying signs then he has every right to voice his opinion on his own private property. I personally think the immigration process should be changed so it would not be almost totally impossible for anyone who isn’t wealthy to gain American citizenship, but that isn’t the point of this story, this story is about an individuals right to express him opinion on his own private property, No one has a right to try to take that away from him, and if anyone disagrees with him they also have the right to post a sign on their private property provided they don’t have HOA restrictions. Even if I find the sign offensive it doesn’t give me the right to demand it be removed. Someone may find my Christmas lights offensive, or someone may find Easter decorations offensive, etc. etc. but all they have to do is not look, in fact this is this mans private property, why are these people even staring at it long enough to read the sign, it’s private. If this sign was placed in front of a school or a police department or court house, I could understand people being upset, as everyones tax dollars go to fund these establishment’s, they are not private and they should remain neutral in issues of this nature as they are publically funded, but again, this is this mans private property and regardless of whether I agree with him or not, he has the right to voice his opinion.

  • Brian

    Exactly how does a country close a border? And how is that consistent with allowing legal immigration?

  • Adam Bynum

    If you want to come to this country and improve the lives of yourself and your family then come on, do it legally. Pay taxes to live here like the rest of us.

  • Rudy

    Welfare Demographics
    Percent of recipients who are white 38.8 %
    Percent of recipients who are black 39.8 %
    Percent of recipients who are Hispanic 15.7 %
    Percent of recipients who are Asian 2.4 %
    Percent of recipients who are Other 3.3 %

  • Smith

    To enter any country without proper documentation can get you killed in many countries and certainly arrested & deported in most. The law is the law so if you enter the USA illegally, then you have committed a crime therefore rendering yourself a criminal, without regard to motivation. Think of it this way…you are dead broke and will soon lose every possession you own & are desperate for money so you rob a bank. You are not legally entitled to that money therefore you have committed a crime. Should the law turn away & say, “But they are in need, forget the law and the crime they have committed. Not only do that but take more money & goods from those who dutifully earned them legally and give it to these poor people in need.” It is the same theory being applied. You are not entitled; you must legally earn what you have.

  • Diana

    Wait but didn’t this land belong to Indians before the pilgrims took over… so aren’t you all immigrants?… so shouldn’t americans go back too? oh wait they dont know where they came from. foh.

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