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. USMCIntel

    To Deborah #212

    Unless every law enforcement officer on the news is lying, you can't just walk up to someone if they're not doing anything wrong. YOU HAVE TO HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE. If someone is just standing there, you can't do anything. If someone is driving with a broken tailight and you pull them over, and they have no driver's license, can't speak English, and have 7 friends who all don't know each other or where they're going, then you have a HUMAN TRAFFICKER.

    It's that simple. This whole thing would be fixed if the AZ law just said that the illegals had to be deported to San Fransicso. That's the only issue I have with the law. Those people are so stupid they're protesting military recruitment centers and forcing military members out of Berkley. So tell me who's the bigot? Have you people all gone insane? Read a history book and realize that the rest of the world is laughing at the fact that we don't even want to remain a cohesive country anymore. They want us to self destruct and the lefties are doing a pretty good job of it.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    Someone posted earlier that the effect of this law would be to raise wages and lower taxes, with the secondary effect of maybe higher lettuce prices....

    From an economic standpoint, if the law is successful, there will be 460,000 fewer people in AZ (those who are estimated to be there illegally) That's a lot of jobs to fill (low paying jobs generally), and it won't happen over night. How do you think the economy will fare with the loss in tax revenue from these workers? The only ones who aren't paying any taxes are household workers, farm workers etc, who are being paid in cash. Those working at the Golf Courses, Airports, schools, etc.... have fake SS#s and have taxes withheld by their employers and the employers pay their portion to the government, the misnomer is that they don't pay taxes, they do pay taxes, they just don't file a tax return. So, you'll have hundreds of thousands of vacant jobs which will be more expensive to fill, a smaller tax base and more expensive lettuce.... If you can explain how that will help the economy, I'm all ears...

    April 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. a concerned american voice

    I don't think anyone is against immigration reform, but many are againts the methodology of the Arizona law's targeting of "illegal immigrants" and the potential human error of discriminating against legal Americans that look and appear to law enforcement as illegal entrants.

    When was the last time a Tea Bagger was asked to prove they were an American. Yes, even in a simple credit card purchase we are asked for our driver's license, but do you go to jail when you can't produce it.

    When was the last time a White male or female was denied freedom in America because of their national heritage or the colr of their skin?

    Its beed decades since Italian, irish, Gerrman, and polish ethnic groups were discriminated aginst in their immigration into the United States. The feeling of that discrimnation has worn off obviously, becuase if it were still fresh humankind wouldn't be so quick to repeat these wrongs against Hispanics as they were cast uponearlier immigrants.

    target the criminals rather than targeting an entire ethnic group.

    How about law enforcement stopping Mr. Luddewrs and Mr. Earle at their favorite eating establishment, asking them for proof of citizenship and when they can't produce it, artresting them and threaten to send to to a erceived country of their ancestors. And maybe that should happen to their entire family.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Eilliw

    Moose, stop your whining. You are spreading ugliness and taking up valuable space. Please find some better way to sped your time, and stop wasting ours. Don't you have anything worthwhile to do?

    Get it?

    Dpn't let the door hit you on the way out.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Somratni

    This is not a "Tea Party" issue, this is a legal issue. Our government is not doing it's job. Elected officials are ignoring illegal aliens and the businesses that hire them in the hopes giving them amnesty and fast-tracking them to citizenship, thereby getting their votes in upccming elections. Illegal aliens have NO rights. Whatever nationality, they should be deported immediately and put at the end of the line for citizenship. My husband became a citizen 2 years ago. It took him 6 years, but he obeyed the law and waited for his turn. The Federal government needs to step up and inforce our laws and protect our borders so the states don't have to do it for them.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Paul

    It seems that no one is really paying attention to the real problem. Most of the South and the West of the USA used tro belong to Mexico. That's right, to Mexico. This is what Americans used to be called "Manifest Destiny" back then when the US invaded these lands. Guess what is hapening now? This Manifest Destiny is reversing itself not just for Mexico, but for all Latin America my dear amigos. The US has spent millions upon millios of dollars trying to build walls with infrared cameras and movement detectors that have all proven to be WORTHLESS. We are dealing with people, not animals. There ia NOTHING that will ever stop the flow of immigrants into this nation. Legal or Illligal, they will continue to come and this is a simple fact. The problem with illigal immigration is now so big that it would be cheaper for the USA to give these people an opportunity to fix their legal status THAT TO DEPORT THEM. They came here because someone needed them. Who picks the vegetables that you buy at the grocery stores? Who do you think built the house where you now live? I think that Americans have to learn how to LIVE with US because we are here to stay. By the way, don't you know that the current US govenment is trying to to make a pact that will unite Canada, the USA and Mexico. No passport will be necessary in a few years to travel. Then why passing anti-immigration laws if in just a few years we will be living all together? WHAT A WASTE OF TIME!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Harold

    Guys, with all respect let me explain why Latinos are against this law.
    I'm Latino and have been in the US for almost 20 years. and I believe that all Latin people and I do agree with you that it is not right to be here illegally. Illegal immigration is NOT OK. However, the reason why we are against this law is because of the racial profile that it will occur. Do you really think a cop will ask a white man for his papers? I really doubt that.
    Some of you say "so what is the big deal?", "what is the big deal of carrying your passport, visa and license?" That is not the big deal, the big deal is that only certain group of people will be targeted. is a bill that targets people of brown color. Look white folks, we understand that if someone invades your house, you should kick them out. But we did not come here to rob you. we came here to work for a miserable $2 an hour, we did not come to rob your job, we work on jobs nobody wants. Our contribution helped the economy. You can make an argument that we do not pay taxes, we use your school, we use hospitals. But wait, we pay for these indirectly. We do not collect on the taxes, we do not collect welfare. Because of our minimum wage, companies actually make a bigger profit, which they themselves can invest in new products and in higher paying jobs for YOU. (Now, let's be frank there might be things that we do get away with, but if you add everything up we actually add value to the economy, and let's not forget some of you also get away with some things.) Please don't blame us for the economic crisis, don't blame us because you lost your job, unless you work cutting grass all day and cleaning toilets. Frankly, the people you need to blame are the companies that fooled you into investing in the housing market. AIG, Goldman-Sach, etc, they rob you. They screw you up and you know it. We bailed these companies with our money and what do they do? the give themselves bonuses.
    A final point, people, don't call an undocumented immigrant a Criminal. As in all societies, there will always be a thief, gangs, crooks, drug dealer, etc. The action of few of these individuals should not be a reason to call an undocumented worker a Criminal. I will not call a Muslin person a terrorist just because of an idiot (Osama bin ladin).

    April 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ryan

    i think we should pass a law that if someone looks like a redneck we can search their property and their trucks and cars to make sure they do not have any illegal or unregistered firearms... It would be fun to add some profiling against the ignorant white people (yes I am white too) that roam around... This whole thing is not about Illegal immigration, its about people who are citizens being treated like 2nd class citizens because of the color of their skin.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jimbo

    I don't think anyone really disagrees with the fact that if you are here "illegally" that you should be deported. I think what people are afraid of is how this law will be enforced. I was born and raised in America. But, to some I look mexican. However, I am not of mexican decent. So, how will this affect me? My fear is that every time I go to Arizona I'll be asked to present proof of my legal residency at times that I normally wouldn't be asked to do so. I am certain that someone who looks more "american" than I do will not be asked to do this as often as I will. Personally, it insults me that the freedoms my father died for as a member of the US Navy were completely disregarded merely because of the color of my skin. It insults me that as a law abiding, tax paying, US Citizen that I have to worry about my personal freedoms in the state of Arizona.

    And for those that say that this law is not about racisim.... Please tell me how else they would define "reasonable suspicion"? Is it a certain height? Will it be based on the way I speak? Will it be based on the fact that I drive a particular car? Seriously what could possibly be used to determine the reason for someone to ask me about my proof of legally residency?

    IMHO, this should be a question asked when people (of any color) want to use public services. You want to go to school... Fine show proof legal of residency. You want to work here and pay into the Social Security system... Fine show proof legal of residency. You want to get a library card, drivers license, passport... Fine show proof legal of residency.

    But requiring me to carry proof of legal residency each time I walk down the street? C'mon seriously? How "American" is that?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MikinAZ

    I can't believe it...a tea partier that actually sounds somewhat sane...and from my recently gone-insane state of AZ no less. At least they recognize the value of immigration-do they recognize the system is broken tho...all in all tho – I'm...I'm...I'm speachless

    April 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tracie

    Isn't it a law that you must have your photo ID /Driver's license on your person when you are driving? You are required to present your Driver's license to any officer of the law that requests it. When did people get the option to not follow the law?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RuthWillSetUFree

    funny how tea partiers and all other supporters of this bill fail to put the blame where it lies– on businesses who employ the illegals and those who patronise them. illegals would not come here if there were no jobs waiting for them. so if you really support this bill, do not do business with any org that employs illegals. when at a restaurant, check who they have as a dishwasher or bus boy. when buying a house, make sure all their workers were documented. if you buy fruit, make sure no illegals were involved in getting it from the tree to your dinner plate. and, by the way, good luck.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Andrew

    What part of ILLEGAL do some of you people not understand?
    Illegal immigrants are able to use services that are are funded by tax paying citizens. It is not equal/fair treatment to have one group fund the services and another group be able to access the service without paying. That is STEALING. If you want to immigrate to the US, then do so LEGALLY. That way you can pay taxes for the services just like everybody else.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cybersport

    Newsflash.. anyone who works in this country, legal or not, pays taxes.....

    I'm a white male... I live near a major metropolitan area. The Arizona law, however well intended, is based on racism. They won't be stopping white males on teh street asking for proof of citizenship

    April 28, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Josh-Wa

    As someone who is fortunate enough to hear countless recordings of immigration case proceedings from all over the country, I can state that this idea that it is unfair for Europeans and Asians to have to wait in line because their country isn't located in a way they could sneak in is just misguided. I have personally heard several cases where illegals came from Eastern Europe and Asia, flew to Mexico and then illegally entered the country. The idea that only Hispanics utilize this and all other countries just wait in line is misguided: all nationalities and nations have those who will sneak into the country illegally.

    The problem I think many, including myself, have with this current law in Arizona is that it really hasn't defined what is a reasonable suspicion. Perhaps many more would be on board if it was laid out exactly what our law enforcement officers should be looking for when determining whether or not to ask a person for their papers. Until this is a little more clearly defined, there is no way to say that police won't just stop anyone who fits the standard and misguided description of an illegal immigrant: Hispanic. Knowing personally that there are many people from the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, India and Asia using these same borders to gain illegal access to the country as well, setting guidelines and making them public could do a lot to ease those opposed to this bill.

    After all, someone coming illegally from Bosnia is white after all, but what is the policy for a cop demanding their papers when up until now, the only description I've heard of an illegal is that they are Hispanic.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
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