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.
soundoff (1,254 Responses)
  1. Graham

    These laws violate the rights of Hispanic American Citizens and Nationals by impeding their daily lives due to the color of their skin. If these people are to say they support immigration they should actually take a look changing the immigration laws because of how difficult it is for a family or even single person to immigrate for either work or residency. If Texas ever adopted this law I would be ashamed of my state for violating its typical principals for the protection of individual rights.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Running Deer

    What papers did the white man show when they came here and starting killing all the native americans indians?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Suzanne Parker

    Moose, please quit saying axe or axed

    April 28, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John

    On top of my above comment, many business in Arizona will fail because they don't have cheap immigrant laborers but have to pay for full benefits and salaries of citizens...this bill is gonna kill AZ's economy

    April 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steve

    a drivers license does not prove you are an american citizen, I can get a fake drivers license in about an hour in front of almost any immigration office, and who carries the birth certificate with them?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Texan

    So John- You are saying if the only way we can succeed is to do it illegally then that is O.K.? If you can't make it by the rules that have been put in place then maybe you shouldn't make it...

    April 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Adam

    Just report some of Moose's worse comments, they speak thickly of racism and I doubt he'll be able to post much longer. There's no reason we can't be civil, this isn't the Senate...

    April 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lawyer Man

    Actually, you are WAY WRONG! NON-CITIZENS DO HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS! They Constitution protects "every PERSON" (not citizen). Read the 14th Amendment. Non-citizens lack two rights: right to vote, and the right to serve on juries. Don't make comments unless you know what you are talking about.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Josh

    I am sick of tired of any political correctness, if you support the Arizona law, you are a horrible person, plain simple horrible. There is nothing good about you, you have no morals, no decency, no basic respect for anything this country is supposed to stand for. It is a racist law, this is a fact and there is no valid argument to speak against the point. There is nothing right about this law, the fact an oppressive law like this one is alright for Tea Partiers is proof they don't care anything about the Constitution or individual rights.

    I'm sick of all denials about how absolutely racist and terrible a law the Arizona law is. You can not be for this law and be a good person, it is as plain and simple as that.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hawkeye

    Joe Legal vs. Jose Illegal
    Here is an example of why hiring illegal aliens is not economically
    productive for the State of California, or anywhere else in our nation...

    You have 2 families..."Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal".
    Both families have 2 parents, 2 children and live in California.

    "Joe Legal" works in construction, has a Social Security Number, and makes
    $25.00 per hour with payroll taxes deducted.....

    "Jose Illegal" also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number,
    and gets paid $15.00 cash "under the table".

    Joe Legal...$25.00 per hour x 40 hours ($1000.00 per week), or $52,000 per
    year. Now take 30% away for state & federal tax.
    Joe Legal now has $31,231.00

    Jose Illegal...$15.00 per hour x 40 hours ($600.00 per week) or $31,200.00
    per year.
    Jose Illegal pays no taxes...
    Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

    Joe Legal pays Medical and Dental Insurance with limited coverage $1000.00
    per month or $12,000.00 per year.
    Joe Legal now has $19,231.00

    Jose Illegal has full Medical and Dental coverage through the state and
    local clinics at acost of $0.00 per year.
    Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00

    Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for Food Stamps or
    Joe Legal pays for food $1,000.00 per month or $12,000.00 per year.
    Joe Legal now has $7,231.00

    Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for Food Stamps and
    Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00

    Joe Legal pays rent of $1,000.00 per month, or $12,000.00 per year.
    Joe Legal is now in the hole...minus (-) $4,769.00

    Jose Illegal receives a $500 per month Federal rent subsidy.
    Jose Illegal pays rent $500.00 per month unsubsidized, or $6,000.00 per
    Jose Illegal still has $25,200.00

    Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work
    to cover his bills, like a good and responsible American does.

    Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

    Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school.

    Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get
    a government sponsored lunch.

    Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program.

    Joe Legal's children go home.

    Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same Police and Fire Services, but
    Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

    Do you get it now?
    It's not a matter of being "nice" to illegals, they are LAW BREAKERS!

    The above situation is REAL and IS supported by the very politicians who are
    at this moment running this country into bankruptcy!

    Don't vote/support any politician that supports illegal aliens...

    It's PAST time to take a stand for America and Americans (the REAL ones)!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John

    No, I'm not saying its OK. I'm just saying that this bill is going to have unintended consequences that a bunch of fired up hicks aren't expecting.

    Based on your theory, Texan, that "if you can't make it by the rules that have been put in place then maybe you shouldn't make it", the government shouldn't have bailed out any banks for the past few years. IF the gov. hadn't done that we would be a 3rd world country right now. Your argument makes no sense based on the above example alone. As much as no one wants to admit it, cheap immigrant labor is important to a lot of farming communities and labor based businesses. Without this, the larger companies which use the products produced by these business won't be able to get them cheaply and prices for all products will increase exponentially. This will be bad for Arizona's economy.

    Also, I'm was born and raised in Texas and voted for Bush the first time around (abstained from voting the second time), so this isn't some liberal agenda I'm pushing from San Francisco.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Graham

    RE: Hawkeye

    Have you ever met an illegal's family or seen how they live. You have some strange beliefs regarding how much they get paid.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jake

    From reading these posts it seems there are three camps:

    1) People who believe our immigration laws should be enforced.
    2) People who believe we shouldn't have any immigration laws so let’s ignore the ones we have.
    3) People who are afraid that enforcing our immigration laws will mean that they will suffer because they won't be able to take advantage of cheap illegal labor.

    Put me into the first group.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hatfokker

    Errr a driving license is NOT proof of citizenship or legal residence. That would be a US passport or green card. Hands up all those of you who carry around your passport (if citizen) or green card (if resident). Hmmm is that NO-ONE.

    So is everyone in AZ going to be asked to prove it, or just those who look or sound like they may be an immigrant? This is otherwise known as profiling.

    The problem is not the principle of whether an illegal immigrant should be deported it is the practicality of enforcing this law. It is 'bad' law because it is going to lead to profiling and the local law enforcement is going to be drowned in civil rights prosecutions.

    I dont think most people would object to making routes to legal immigration easier balanced by better border security. Also harsher penalties for US employers with businesses employing illegal immigrants. My objection is to the practicality of this law. Its not well thought out and stinks to high heaven.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    I agree with John, please tell me how this won't lead to profiling,


    April 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
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