Aviles a testament to hardworking immigrants: I know people who have gotten work done by the subject of your excellent cover article, and I can attest that he is a unique artist ("Marked Man," Niki D'Andrea, May 19).
His work is beautiful, and he is exactly what immigrants to America should be: hardworking, law-abiding, talented, and humble. If you met Andrick [Aviles], you would like him instantly, and you would see that he is committed to his art.
You can't blame him for his parents' bringing him here. He had no say in the matter, and he has made the best of the situation. Sure, he was illegal for a long time, but he has now — against all odds — become a legal resident.
He deserves only props for what he has accomplished.
Lydia Guerrero, Phoenix
He could be one of the greats: Thanks for your article on one of the emerging talents in the tattoo industry. This guy has what it takes to be one of the greats in the profession.
Jim George, Phoenix
More power to young artist: Who cares whether Andrick Aviles has been here illegally for a long time?! He has talent that few have, and he is using it to support himself and his family. More power to such an exemplary young man.
John Field, Phoenix
The old "Mexican criminals" saw: Andrick Aviles is just another criminal illegal immigrant who lived in this country for years without paying taxes, thus robbing American citizens of our hard-earned tax money. He may be legal now, but he wasn't for many years after he came here.
He's part of the crop of Mexican criminals who come here and take jobs that Americans should have. Why don't all these people who flock to him for tattoos use white, American tattoo artists? He's taking bread out of these Americans' mouths.
I don't care how many celebrities get tattoos from him; he needs to go back where he came from.
Jack Alworth, Tucson
Tattoo artists are scum: Do we really need another tattoo "artist" in the Valley? Jeez, people in this "profession" are just scum.
Anybody could do what they do. Deport him and, if you are dumb enough to get yourself tatted, at least employ an American.
Ned Bacon, Scottsdale
Misguided hue and cry: "Illegals" pay up to $7 billion in taxes they can never claim [reductions or deductions for], which is why the hue and cry [to get rid of them] is so false on all fronts.
Cherrie King, city unavailable
He's not taking anyone's job: Andrick Aviles is not taking a job that [just anybody] could do. You have to have talent.
Cassondra Knight, city unavailable
Go back to England: If you aren't a member of a Native American tribe, you aren't from here, either.
Why don't [certain white people] go back to England — where they probably don't know anyone, because they've spent their entire lives here, like Andrick.
Graceila Armendariz, city unavailable
It's more a safety issue than anything: Let me preface by saying that this comment has nothing to do with his [immigration] status. I couldn't care less.
That said, what he is doing is dangerous! I work at a well-known tattoo shop in the Valley and, therefore, am required to take blood-borne-pathogen training once a year.
There are a million reasons tattooing in your home is illegal. Even if he changes needles and gloves and uses disposable tubes, that does not make him a clean tattoo artist.
You can see from the pictures that he uses a cloth-covered chair, which is a porous surface. Meaning that if even a single drop of blood containing hepatitis is on that chair, [it] can live and spread to other people. He has no way to clean a chair like that.
This clearly shows that he is unaware of the harm he could be doing to his clients.
New Times has no business publishing an article that promotes unsafe, unhealthy, and illegal practices. The article encourages people, known in the industry as "scratchers," to keep doing what they're doing.
I wish the best of luck to Aviles, but I sincerely hope that his recent publicity brings to his attention the error of his ways. I hope that he starts practicing safe tattooing.
If he were to become an OSHA-certified artist, he could become an excellent spokesman for the hazards of tattooing at home.
Rebecca Kelley, city unavailable
Immigrant success story: Congratulations, Andrick! Stay up, and never look down.
I feel where Andrick is coming from. I was brought to the United States at age 4 and did not know I was an illegal immigrant until I tried joining the Marines at 17.
I asked my parents for my birth certificate and Social Security number to give to the recruiter, and my parents told me I couldn't join because I was an "illegal."
After 19 years in this country, I became a legal resident, and I am now working on my citizenship.
I was unable to become a Marine, but now I work as a security consultant and provide personal security staff for multi-million-dollar companies.
Carlitos Eldiablo, city unavailable