April 28th, 2010
02:47 PM ET

Tea Partiers to illegal immigrants: 'Sign guestbook'

Lee Earle, left, and Ronald Ludders of Phoenix support Arizona's new immigration law.

Lee Earle, a self-identified “Tea Party facilitator” in Arizona, ground zero of the immigration debate, wants you to know that he supports immigration. He considers it the lifeblood of American society and the backbone of our economy – if it’s done legally.

“We want immigration. We need immigration! All we want is for people to sign the guestbook at the door,” said Earle, a Phoenix resident. “Being an illegal immigrant in Arizona is like trespassing. If you’re in my house and you’re not invited, then I have every right to send you out.”

Earle says he supports Arizona’s controversial new law targeting illegal immigration because it lets local law enforcement do what the federal government should be doing to stop people from entering the country unlawfully.

“When people come here without permission, when they come here illegally, they automatically become victims of the coyotes who bring them over and the employers who take advantage of their cheap labor,” Earle said. “Let them come legally so they can take advantage of all the wonderful services and opportunities this great nation has to offer and they can contribute in a meaningful way.”

Earle, a loquacious retiree who gesticulates frequently as he fires off in a stream-of-consciousness manner, shared his thoughts Tuesday night before a legislative district meeting at the Jumbo Buffet in a strip mall in southwest Phoenix.

Dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and jeans, his long gray hair pulled back, Earle said he blames health care, education and incarceration for illegal immigrants for contributing to the state’s $2 billion budget deficit.

“It’s a monetary thing for the state, because I’m a taxpayer but also a human concerned because they can’t take advantage of our legal system because they’re afraid of being deported,” he said.

Earle’s friend and fellow Tea Partier Ronald Ludders dismissed with a wave of the hand the suggestion that the bill encourages racial profiling.

“Illegal is not a race," said Ludders, who, like Earle, is a Republican precinct committeeman for his legislative district. “Law enforcement will be looking for people who they have reasonable suspicion to believe are breaking the law. They cannot stop them based on the color of their skin.”

Both men say this is not about hating Hispanics: Ludders has a home in Mexico, and Earle lives in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood.

“This is about fixing a problem that has been plaguing our communities for a long time. If the federal government isn’t going to do anything, I’m proud of Arizona for stepping up to the plate,” Earle said.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • U.S.
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  1. Keith

    Obvious it is very clear Mr. President hasn’t even read the new AZ law. As he will see if he chooses to read it that it mirrors the federal law. Go ahead and put the spin on this one Mr. President

    April 29, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Alex

    Quick! Youre a cop..2 hispanics having a conversation next to a newsstand, which one is the illegal and which one has been in this country for 3 generations? Can you tell? neither can the cop..So what do you do? Ask them both for I.D of course. Heres the second question..as an American citizen, how do you feel about police being able (required) to stop you anywhere at any time and demand that you identify yourself..because you have brown hair? green eyes? blue eyes? over 5'9(? Its not about the illegals you catch, its about the rights of US citizens who happen to be of Hispanic descent.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. John T

    Sarah Phillips... What about the Americans that are of suspicious color? What about their rights? Do they have the right to be pulled over everytime because they are the wrong color? Maybe you haven't noticed, but all politicians do is put laws in for their own benefit. Grow up. This law isn't about legal or illegal, like they say it is. Its about "are you brown, or are you white?"

    P.S. I am a white male decended from Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, so don't even think that I am not American. I am proud of my nation, and even more proud of my heritage. I just wish my fellow people could get back to the fair ideas that this country was built upon.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dave

    Patricia,

    Why yes little sister, I don't know about Mark D, but I think we have compensated quite enough for what we did not do. Don't you?

    April 29, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. John

    Actually, non citizens do have rights. The Constitution does not simply apply to American citizens. It states inalienable rights because they are inherent to being human, they are universal. People who are in this country are also afforded every right and law that we have. We dont want to go down the road of telling people, tourists for instance, that if you come here dont expect to have any rights. That little notion will hit the pocket book real quick.

    This law is bad not because illegals have to show their papers, but because legal residents and citizens will have to show them too. They'll have to prove at every corner who they are. They won't mind? Maybe not the first time. But wait until some numskull of a cop gets it in his head to ask for papers every time he pulls someone over or talks to them on the street during some dispute. Not having a license on you is not a crime when you are out for a walk but it will become reasonable suspicion. You guys all need to take a step back and look at this from other points of view.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. jose

    Anyone complaining about the new law are just idiots who have not actually read the thing. I support this new law. GO ARIZONA!! It bothers me when people cross illegally and still hold allegiances to other countries like Mexico. It's straight up BULLSH*&!! It’s a privilege to be a U.S. citizen, not a right! Anyone wanting to boycott AZ can go to hell!! I'm so fed up with all this crap.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. EDDIE

    I say send them all home and let them come in the way my family had to taking over two years in the process not jumping over a fence. and this opinion that we would pay $5.00 for a head of lettuce are we forgetting the system where we allow folks to come here on temporary work visas in a legal way to work and then go back home we do this right now. If we need 70,000 we allow 70,000 to come in TEMPORARILY to fulfill a need and then GO BACK HOME.What is wrong with that ??? Doesn't ILLEGAL in a word say it all.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Joel

    Remember what the Obama administration did when they had reason to suspect that Michaele and Tareq Salahi had been somewhere they weren't authorized to be? They brought criminal charges against them. Seems that Obama wants to be able to prosecute prosecute otherwise law abiding citizens when they're not authorized to be somewhere, but nobody else can. Methinks that Obama and the dems doth protest too much.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Gus

    Dave your idiot, you can't rely on your so called history. Here's an example, when the military had a battle with the indians it was written down as a victory. When they lost it was logged as a massacre. Both sides did some very bad things when they won but not much mentioned on that part. The problem with the second comment, mexicans are part spanish part indian. Really, where in your butt did you pull this out of? I know a lot of mexicans and they do not have any European blood at all, so what do you call them? Using your good words, understand history before you comment. Mexico had placed the Red River as the border of Mexico. What did the white folks do? They said, No, it is at the Rio Grande and moved on in. The war began and when the U.S. captured Santa Ana, according to your history, he was very happy to sell everything to the west coast for $30 million dollars. No threats, no torture, just a very good sales pitch and a nice handshake. Do I have that correct according to your history?

    Des is not much brighter, what law was violated? Really. do you want to use that? Using your logic, did anyone ask any of the tribes before they were kindly asked to leave their home and move to a Reservation if there were any laws? Even if there was would the European really cared? When Louis and Clarke went west. They carried a declaration from the U.S. government stating that once the tribe receieved this document they had agreed to give up their land to us. Oh, by the way in English, which was very easy for the indians to use to sue the government. Yeah, let's try and defend the way this was done. Get over it right, it's done, it's history.

    Hide the bad things that were done, sweep them under the rug, it's all good. Ask a Choctaw or Cheyenne to forget it. It isn't you so you don't care. Don't get me started on the stupid spaniards. The worst sailor in the world was hired by Spain and the idiot lucked out and found land. Now they they sit high and mighty and look down on Hispanics. The are Hispanic when it is convenient for them, but European when asked. They make it a point to tell you they are not Hispanic, "I am a Spamiard".

    There you made me do it. I let my anger speak instead of my brain and heart. What did I just accomplish? Did I change any of their minds, get them to admit some kind of error? No it was a few minutes of my life that I will never get back. I will not waste my time anymore. Go ahead and throw your venom my way, the only power you have over me is the one I allow you to have. Chao........

    April 29, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Dave

    John, John, John,.....

    OK John, here we go again. The Constitution of The United States says NOTHING about rights. It is the Bill of Rights. Only a couple apply to everyone. The rest only apply to US Citizens. You keep quoting the Declaration of Independence which was a propaganda document, not a legal document.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bob Long

    What the person from the Tea Party fails to understand is that this is not about signing a "guest book". This is about giving up your right to legal search and seizure. The gentleman refuses to acknowledge that police are allowed to question a person based on ANY "reasonable suspicion". What does that mean? It means any person technically could be questioned and held based on what some law enforcement officer, backed by a law that gives that officer great discretion, can bring in a person because they LOOKED like an illegal alien. The point is that the law does not specific the actions an officer cannot take.This is a can of worms that when opened will set back human rights in this country to the First World War when to speak German meant you were a traitor. The gentleman not only does not know his history, he is pandering to those who believe that history should never have evolved.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. ann

    Here is what someone in a town next to me posted: READ THE LAST PART> Just a little true tidbit. Illegal can file Federal tax refunds under the fake SS#. They file for an ITIN number and file using it, plus they claim the max dependents using relatives back home that don't even live in the United States and people who they don't even support. Plus throw on top of the fact they work under one name and use another name to get free health care, free school lunches, Goverment assistance on rent, food stamps etc.. they live better than lot of Americans.
    You may not beleive me, but my wife is from Mexico(legally after several Thousands of dollars)and she know all this because they tell her these things and they are proud and think it's funny they are getting away with it.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Marc

    Cyrus,
    Also the British were the ones trading in slaves WTF are you talking about. America was founded by people seeking to leave Britian for their persecution of religious beliefs. We declared our independence from Britian because they were heavily taxing the colonies and demanding excess amounts of tabacco and the colonists were not given representation in the government. The British supplied the slaves in order to cultivate the crops being sent over to Britian. That is where the no taxation without representation comes from and the Boston Tea Party. The war you are thinking of is the civil war fought between the confederate south and union north. The north was against slavery, (Americans BTW) so southern states, fearing that they would lose their labor seceded from the US and Americans killed Amerians for the freedom of your brothers. That is where Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclimation came from, any of this ringing a bell. The war of independence with britian was way before that and they supplied slaves prior to that, the only time they were against slavery was during the war when they offered any african americans the opportunity to join them and earn their freedom. Those that took the offer were sent into the front lines to be gunned down. Google it you racist.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Patricia

    Keith, the border wall has been built up and expanded, levels of security and Border Patrol officers along with technology such as infared scopes, lighting etc. were increased dramatically during the Clinton administration. That strategy has therefore been attempted and results show that it has not deterred illegal immigration. The root of the problem is not how dangerous we can make crossing the border because quite frankly the dangers will not deter someone from trying to enter. Those who are willing to cross in the most dangerous parts of a desert with a coyote or alone are not just doing it lightly. Their level of need and desperation to start a new life exceeds those dangers, and border militarization will not change that. Illegal immigration cannot be alleviated by a higher wall nor by this law in Arizona.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Charles

    In the context of Arizona, "illegal immigrant" is the functional equivalent of Mexican or Hispanic. For that reason alone it is unconstitutional.

    Unconstitutional does not necessarily mean immoral. The law is immoral because it is made out of hatred toward Hispanics. It was passed to make life miserable enough for Hispanics that they leave Arizona. The legislator himself admits that this was the goal.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
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