Posted by: Ann Corcoran | June 23, 2011

Guest Column: the Parking Lot People were unbelievably nice

Yesterday, in a post read by several hundred people in 24 hours, we told you about what happened in Easton, Maryland last weekend.

Today we have a guest column from the Caroline County, Maryland, petition coordinator, Blake Sutherland, who tells us how his many weeks at a local Food Lion parking lot ended abruptly yesterday when one disgruntled woman* complained to the management.

Readers:  If any others of you would like to share your stories from the Petition Drive to get the In-state tuition for illegal immigrants law on the ballot for 2012 (so voters can decide!), please send your story my way!

Here is Blake’s story:

Thought I might share with you my encounter in Denton yesterday (June 22).

I have been circulating the petition for referendum in the Food Lion parking lot since day one of the petition drive. My partner and I would trek on down to the lot, drop the tailgate of my pickup, and post our sign. Day after day we collected 30 or so signatures and to date we have collected and certified over 700 signatures!

Most everyone readily signed. Some were obviously in a hurry and some just said no thanks.

Many people had stories to tell.

We listened to many reasons as to why folks were signing. One couple claimed that the head start program was full of illegals with no room for her child. A man in his thirties with a European accent stated he was a legal immigrant and asked who do they think they are jumping ahead in line when it took him 3 years to get a visa.

Another man asked “what is it about illegal the politicians don’t understand.”

The Parking Lot People were unbelievably nice!

Many people thanked us for doing what we were doing. An elderly black lady stated ” charity begins at home”. These parking lot people were unbelievably nice and we began to enjoy our trek to the lot. After awhile people that had already signed would just come over and say hello and many mom’s would show off their babies and children.

Well everything came to an end yesterday.

A woman in her late fifties parked next to us and came over and asked me what the petition was all about. I gave her my usual explanation and told her that a law was passed giving instate tuition to illegal immigrants—then added illegal not legal immigrants.

She immediately asked: “What about the children that were born here or brought here when they were young?”  Well, I stated that it was the parents that pay tuition not their children and the parents are illegal. I also pointed out that it would be a waste of taxpayer money since it is illegal to employ them with or without a degree.

It was apparent that she was getting upset and she stated: “You Americans bring them into this country so now you should pay!” I then asked her if she was an American and three times she would not answer me and finally stormed off into the store.

A short time later we were asked to leave.  We did.

We have another place to collect signatures and we are off again today. I would suggest everyone should have an alternate place to collect signatures. It seems there are some who don’t want Maryland voters to vote. We will be working extra hard in the heat today (and tomorrow and the next day!).

Good luck to all!

Blake Sutherland
County Coordinator

* We don’t know if this woman is part of the plan by CASA de Maryland and its affiliated groups to harass signature gatherers.

Reminder!   You must bring your cameras and video cams to all signing stations in the next week.  It is very important that you photograph all those attempting to intimidate you and/or attempting to intimidate those wishing to sign the petition.

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