Elias responds: Thank you! Your article does shine light into my life. I am a man who has fallen many times, and I am determined to get up [just] as many ("The Bermudez Triangle," Megan Irwin, November 15). You are not a good judge of character, and it is amazing you were not able to find any person in this community who could offer you something positive about me.
For those who may form an opinion about me in light of this article, I submit that there is always the opportunity for you to walk in my shoes and then judge. The ultimate judge is always God, and God will prove in time whether I am good or evil.
Meanwhile, I will continue to do what I have done. Rightfulness belongs to all who want to do right.
Elias Bermudez, Phoenix
Attack is uncalled for: I don't know why you attack Elias Bermudez. This guy tries to help all Hispanic people. He is a good man. If he did anything wrong before, it doesn't matter.
If all illegals go back to Mexico, who will do the jobs that Americans don't want to do? If we all leave, the economy will go down and mortgage prices will go up. Think about it.
Ramon Gonzalez, Phoenix
Bermudez showed his stripes: Megan Irwin's article on immigrant movement mouthpiece-in-his-own-mind Elias Bermudez was right on.
Here is a guy who — when the Maricopa County Sheriff's Threat Assessment Squad members came by to accuse of him of being in on that ridiculous made-up plot to kill the sheriff — announced he would be willing to help Arpaio's goons catch the real Mexican culprit.
Elias, there was no real culprit! But you sure showed your stripes: To keep your own ass out of trouble, you were willing — at the drop of a sombrero — to sell out your own people to help Scumbag Joe cook up something to make the public think he's the big, bad sheriff whom everybody wants to kill. What a crock, and what a crock for you to play along!
I'm saying that it's no wonder that Megan Irwin comes to the conclusion that Bermudez's "own people" don't trust him. Elias, dumbass, you can't play both sides of the fence when you're portraying yourself as a civil rights leader!
Carlos Ortiz, Phoenix
Go away, Elias: This man [Elias Bermudez] needs to go away. After reading this story, he has no right to fight for anyone. He's a criminal.
He's supposed to know so much? My grandparents came here from Italy many years ago and became U.S. citizens. Yes, it is a process and it may be time-consuming, but if you are proud of this country and you want to be part of it, then that's what it takes. Deal with it, or go back to Mexico and take your people with you.
We don't need more freeloaders here, nor do we need someone like Bermudez, a criminal himself, trying to push these people down our throats. What I don't understand is how the illegals feel comfortable here. If I were in a foreign country and the people hated me and didn't want me there, I'd get going fast.
No more handouts, no more welfare, no more food stamps. No more. Illegals need to go back and fight for their rights in their country, or fill out the paperwork and become citizens.
Name withheld by request
Avila not the go-to guy: Why does New Times continue to use [Spanish-language radio personality] Luis Avila as a reliable source to give an educated opinion on these issues? Since when did he become the ultimate figure to go to when it comes to illegal immigration, and who is he to decide who should be advocating for [immigrant] rights?
He should get a better education. Then, maybe, he can be educated enough to open his mouth and speak on issues affecting illegals. Or, better yet, si eres tan chingon: Why doesn't he go back to Mexico and try to be such a badass as he is here?
Name withheld by request
IDIOTS AND IRONY
Cheap labor, cheaper gestures at Pruitt's: The Bird sure exposes the ridiculousness of the shenanigans at M.D. Pruitt's Home Furnishings ("Collar-Crazy," Stephen Lemons, November 15). Check this out:
On a recent Saturday, I was highly amused to see Minutemen, ex-Minutemen, and Rusty Childress and crew in front of Pruitt's with their tools, holding a half-assed work party. This was to justify the owner's closing the sidewalk in front of his business — where on Saturdays, day laborers and their supporters had been holding protests to boycott the business. The owner apparently got a permit to close the sidewalk for landscaping on this and other Saturdays.
How interesting that the big digital sign at the business says, "Direct Import Saves You $." Anyone see any irony in this?
See, just like many businesses in the United States, furniture makers have been moving their factories out of the country, or simply importing furniture from China and other countries where it can be made much cheaper (because it's easier to exploit labor there).
I don't have to prove that Pruitt's is taking advantage of cheap labor overseas; it's advertising it. But, for example, I found that Spring Air, one of the Pruitt's suppliers, has a number of mattresses made in China. Sixty-four percent of U.S. upholstery imports come from China.
But the Minutemen and folks spent hours in the hot sun sweeping the sidewalk and moving around tools and potted plants so Pruitt's could protect its business? What a joke.
And let us not forget that our tax money is also going to the police [Sheriff Joe Arpaio was holding a press conference out front and deputies were all over the place] to protect this business.
May Darity, Tempe