Apex man defends his sign after calls to take it down

An Apex homeowner is posting his political views in his front yard and some neighbors are not happy about it.

By Andrea Blanford
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
APEX, N.C. (WTVD) --
A sign posted outside an Apex home is drawing a lot of attention and backlash for what the homeowner has written on it.

The sign outside Bryan Smith's home reads, "Illegals are criminals. No amnesty. Close the border."

He tells ABC11 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.