Two former Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers have paid for a billboard in East Tulsa that is getting a lot of attention, and is sure to cause some controversy. News On 6 anchor Lori Fullbright reports the men are calling themselves outraged patriots, and say they’ve had enough of illegal immigrants.
The billboard asks drivers on Interstate-44, "Have you had enough?" Former troopers Dan Howard and Jack Horath believe illegal immigrants are creating a crisis in this country. They hope their billboard and website bring awareness to the issue.
"They're turning criminals out early from prison on the grounds they leave the country, which means come up here," billboard owner Dan Howard said. "Twenty-billion-dollars will leave the U.S. this year from illegals and that's money we will not get back."
Howard says the message is not aimed at the Hispanic race or legal citizens, but to the illegals he says are draining our economy and raising our crime rate. Howard and Horath also want Oklahomans to learn about State House Bill 1804, which involves sweeping immigration reform aimed at illegals.
"If we take off the incentive of working here without paying taxes, and getting a driver's license and insurance, they will leave," Howard said. "If landlords and businesses are fined for illegals, they will leave."
Howard believes illegals should leave the U.S., and then reapply for legal status.
Jose Perez is a deacon at a largely Hispanic church. He believes Hispanics, both legal and illegal immigrants, contribute to our community culturally and economically.
"I think we should look for common ground on how to deal with the situation," said Perez. "We're dealing with human beings and children and we need to keep in mind that aspect of our immigration issue."
Perez says most people want to get drivers licenses and insurance and follow the rules. He says only a few are criminals, and points out there are criminals in any group. Howard agrees but says taxpayers shouldn't be paying for defense attorneys, court interpreters, jail cells and medical care for those people in the country illegally.