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Billboard Attacks Arizona Senator For Immigration Bill Support

A model of the new billboard that appears on Interstate-10 in Phoenix.
Photo by Jude Joffe-Block
A model of the new billboard that appears on Interstate-10 in Phoenix.

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Billboard Attacks Arizona Senator For Immigration Bill Support

Billboard Attacks Arizona Senator For Immigration Bill Support

Photo by Jude Joffe-Block

A model of the new billboard that appears on Interstate-10 in Phoenix.

PHOENIX -- An electronic billboard went up on a busy stretch of Phoenix highway Tuesday. It criticizes the U.S. Senate immigration bill, and Arizona's junior senator for helping to draft it.

A motorcycle group called Riders United for a Sovereign America paid for the sign. The group favors cracking down on illegal immigration.

The billboard, which is on Interstate-10, refers to the comprehensive immigration bill before the Senate as the "Flake - Obama amnesty" and claims it will add 33 million foreign workers.

"Tell Sen. Flake Americans need those jobs," the sign reads, listing Sen. Jeff Flake's Phoenix office number.

Arizona's senior senator, John McCain, also helped draft S. 744 as part of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight." The bill includes a pathway to citizenship for immigrants currently in the country illegally, as well as border security provisions. It is now being debated in the Senate.

Activist Rusty Childress, who heads the Remember 1986 Coalition, explained his dissatisfaction with Flake.

"He has revealed himself as an open border Obama sock puppet betraying conservative values," Childress said. "He is the new Dr. Evil, by ushering in 33 million foreign workers to compete with low wage American workers."

That figure — 33 million — comes from the immigration restrictionist group Numbers USA.

But what the billboard doesn't explain is that number is an estimate of legal immigrants who could come in the next ten years under the legislation, plus the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the country now who could potentially gain legal status.

Flake responded to his critics with an email statement.

“The immigration bill can and will be improved on the Senate floor, but it is certainly better than the de facto amnesty we live under now," Flake wrote. "Simply opposing the Senate bill, without offering a reasonable alternative, does nothing to improve the situation.”

Jude Joffe-Block Senior Field Correspondent, Fronteras Desk - Phoenix KJZZ Senior Field Correspondent Jude Joffe-Block got hooked on radio while working as an assitant to a radio reporter in Mexico, and has been happiest wearing headphones and pointing microphones ever since. Joffe-Block began serving KJZZ in October 2010 as a Fronteras: Changing America Senior Field Correspondent based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. She joined the Phoenix newsroom in July 2012. Before joining the Fronteras Desk, she contributed stories on immigration and criminal justice to KALW in San Francisco and multimedia content in both Spanish and English to The Associated Press in Mexico. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Yale University, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico.