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. Larry

    Having a home in Mexico and living in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood don't indemnify people from being racists. These guys are old white men. The fact that they use excuses like that to show they aren't racist is cliche. Its like saying well some of my best friends are and then saying something that is clearly racist. I'm not saying that taking a clearly broken system and putting something in place that works for everyone isn't a good idea. Clearly though, Arizona's politicians are pandering to scared elderly white people ... like these two guys. Elderly white people living in their gated communities part of the year, watching the evening television broadcast of murders, rapes and car accidents ... otherwise known as the evening news ... are the ones this bill was aimed at. It has nothing to do with "fixing" a problem and everything to do with giving old white people an illusion of increased security. Its political pandering, plane and simple. What it does on the other side is make anyone who happens to be Latino feel unsafe, feel singled out and feel that they really are a second class citizen. No matter what anyone says, guys like those two will never be randomly stopped and asked for ID ... unless its a staged event for the media ... the people who will be stopped for no reason other than the color of their skin ... will be almost 100% Latino. On that alone this law is unjust and runs against the principals that this Country was founded upon.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. john

    I'm all for racial profiling as the illegal immigration problem is caused by Mexicans. Round em up'

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    For those that think the illegals pay taxes via their STOLEN identities...you're wrong. You simply elect to have nothing withheld and don't file a tax return. And guess what, if the IRS ever actually comes looking for you...they find a phantom because the identity was stolen in the first place.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Go Back Home

    Another problem is that if an illegal pushes out a child here on U.S. soil that child is a citizen of the U.S. That needs to change if you are here illegally and push out a brat you both are illegal. Ship them all back home.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew

    Yeah shame on us. We should continue to let them cross the border and drive up the cost of public services. So much that people cannot afford the increased cost and are losing their homes. There is a current budget deficit because we have people using the services and not enough paying in. So, with the current budget deficit (state) we are having to layoff more tax paying citizens (teachers, public workers). All in the name of the poor ILLEGALS. Great idea DB.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Judy

    Moose, I think you are a disgusting bigot. There are ways to get your point accross without being racist. We get your point, now get off!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jujumax

    Mexicans have been here forever. get over it Arizonians you gonna lose. hip-hip-hooray

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. anotherperspective

    Pleople keep saying that the only people complaining about this bill are the ones with illegal family members. However I am a black woman with no ties to any latinos and I personally find this bill offensive. As a black person I have been of victim of racial profiling (like most black people), and I fear that this bill will breed an invirement for harrassment. I am not for illegal imigration. I am against this bill. We need better solutions.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rational thought

    Its about time something is done about ILLEGAL immigration. Its no secret Obama/Pelosi/ Reid and Co. are sitting on their hands about cracking down on illegals because the more of them that pour across the AZ/TX/CA border, the more votes they get, ensuring their political longevity. Its a very self serving stance they will take and cloak it in racists rhetoric. The fact of the matter is these people are ILLEGAL and the US Consitution does not afford protections to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS no matter where you are from. Oh sure the ACLU/Berkley/Code Pink/liberal type windbag lawyers will try and spin their convenient version of how the Constitution applies to these people and protects their right to ILLEGALLY enter the US and drain us of our resources, make our cities unsafe and degrade our standard of living, but the fact of the matter is its a LIE.....a lie that they know can fool so many because they learned the fine art of manipulation at their precious law schools. Well, it looks as if the people are finally saying enough is enough to the elitist, know-it-all liberal class and taking the action needed that the bleeding hearts refuse to take, much to the detriment to this fine nation. Kudos to AZ, kudos to Jan Brewer and kudos to all the people finally taking a stance.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. george

    come over legally. your not an american citizen if you can make across a desert.if you pay a coyote to cram you in a truck or in the floor boards of a car.your not a citizen if you pay a guide to escort you to the boarder.

    Dont't pay for fake documents to try and circumvent the legal channels of imigration.

    don't strain the american economy. PLEASE COME LEGALLY. PAY TAXES LIKE I DO!

    STOP HIDING IN THE SHADOWS.nothing good comes from being taken advantage of and having to endure in silence. help us as a country,But do it legally.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ian

    My question is, what happens when a Hispanic American citizen is out walking his dog, doesn't have his wallet on him, and a cop asks him for ID?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sam from CA

    Does everyone else know what this mean in the larger context if all the states are doing this?

    It's pretty much saying if you aren't white or black, you are going to be judged and questioned base on your color of your skin. What is "suspicious of being an illegal immigrant"? People obviously base that on the color of your skin and not other factor. Any non-white/black individual would "look" suspicious. By passing this law, you're empowering poilce with authority to do identity search. Which is totatlly against the rights that all American should have. Imagine you are non-white/black and you are constantly being stopped by police because they "suspect you to be an illegal immigrant". How will you feel about that? or just being constantly feared.

    They say that there'll be program to help police to identify immigrant. It's just pretty much using the same concept as in WW2 when police were trying to identify who is japanese and non-asian japanese. Most people won't care. So passing this law is totally a violation of a human right.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kevin

    Has anyone here read the Fourth Amendment? Here it is in its entirety:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    "Probable cause" is the key word here. As well as the word "papers." How can a police officer justify probable cause, and the basis of their search, when no obvious crime is being committed (theft, drug dealing, etc.)? And don't state the obvious and say being an iiegal is a crime in and of itself. It is a crime. Hence the term "ILLEGAL immigrant." The question you have to answer is how can you tell who is an illegal immigrant and search their person for papers when no obvious crime is being committed.

    The AZ law, by it's very nature, is about racial profiling. Just own up to it, instead of masking it in other terms. No one on this site is pissed about illegal Canadians. Judging by the comments, their rage is directed at Mexico (See Cafferty's opinion piece today). And who lives in Mexico: Mexicans!

    And what if someone not commiting an obvious crime (stated above) refuses to show his or her papers? Under Constitutional law, they are protected. If they are citizens and don't comply, do officers get to hold them for questioning? Under the 4th Amendment, that's illegal. I can't wait for the smug MoveOn type to test out this scenario.

    Good luck, AZ officers, this law just pitted you against the federal government. Either you're sued for not racially profiling illegal immigrants OR you break Constitutional law and face federal prosecution. Have fun navigating that mine field.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mooseGots2GO

    Moose is an idiot who "no more gustas" EU *gasp* =O

    Get an life.

    Learn to speak the proper way in Spanish if you are gonna speak it, moose. You sound like a total nationalist idiot.
    You don't even know how illegals sound like. So, why don't you stop putting up ****? You want to know how I speak English? Ay spic te english too y el español
    You don't even know what illegals biggest wishes are. So why you don't shut up, okay? OK. That wasn't even close to it.

    "LOLs!!!!!!!!!!!" me laughs too hahaha ...
    What an idiot! Do us a favor and get out of here, please!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen in PA

    To those of you that insist that certain people have "NO RIGHTS" under our Constitution: The Constitution doesn't grant rights to ANYONE. The Constitution is an agreement to grant certain limited powers to the government, and nothing more.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
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