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. cortes

    hey u think is easy 2 get an american visa??? of course not ,they ask u 4 so many things ..that only whealthy people is able 2 enter US legally ....so if u r american well.. good 4 u we in mexico never ask u for anything when u enter our country CABRON.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dwellople

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    April 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. britney

    This has got to be the saddest list of comments I've ever read in my life. Who knew so much evil still lives in this country? Where is your humanity? Your compassion? Your conscience?
    What is happening in Arizona is WRONG.
    NO ONE should be pulled over for the color of their skin. What times are we living in?
    Don't you understand that most of these people move here to escape the sex trafficking, murder, and corruption in their own countries? The United States of America is a wonderful place, yes, but do we have to be so selfish?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Proud to be American

    EVERYONE!!!... Please stop and think for a minute and look at the bigger picture. We are blaming our problems on the next generation of scapegoats. This has been done before with African Americans, Jews, Irish, Italian Immigrants. How wrong were we about those people?

    The REAL PROBLEM is the trickle down economy..Just think about it...TRICKLE DOWN!! aka Ponzi/Pyramid scheme.

    Lets stop fighting and blaming eachother (legal or illegal) and start to blame the wealth people and companies that are actually running this country.

    On a side note, most illegals would love to pay taxes..if they were able to legally work in this country.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. caliokey

    In California, in 1995 we voted to eliminate health care, education, etc for illegals. It pased and overthrown in the courts on appeal. It cost the state mucho dinero. I see the same fate in Arizona. The only difference is that the Arizona law is blatant in its racism. My reason to say this is the accompanying law requiring proof of citizenship to be on the ballot for President. This is a direct aim toward the President. Even thought he has proven his citizenship, even the Supreme court has ruled this is so. Yes we need reform, we need quite a bit these days. This is not a well written law. There is no reason to be afraid to show ID. When you have police looking for a reason to pull someone over, there is always a reason.How many Swedes will be checked under this law. Bring on the jack boots and sheets.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JoeP

    Did those of you who oppose the law read it? It is only 18 pages long (granted, 18 pages of dry legalise.) Take ten minutes to read it then come back and complain. The law requires anyone suspected of a crime to prove they are in the country legally. They can use any identification that requires proof of citicenship or legal residence to obtain. The other requirement in the Arizona law stipulates that no Arizona official or agency may refuse to enforce existing Federal imigration law.

    I did read the law. Not only is it not racist – it specifically forbids and provides protection against racial profilling. Those who obey the laws (all of them) have nothing to worry about.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    I cant wait until major companies start pulling out of Arizona, or even better, when produce companies, with a work force of about 90% latinos, start refusing shipments to the state. Good luck roofing your own homes, mowing your own grass, or cleaning your own pool in the balmy summer heat. I hope the college students enjoy paying double for their drinks, because all people of latino descent move elsewhere and there will be no one to wash the glasses, mop the floors, or bus the tables. Although, I hear Palin is looking for work....

    April 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    "Don't you understand that most of these people move here to escape the sex trafficking, murder, and corruption in their own countries?"

    Don't YOU understand that with all those goodhearted souls who knowingly break the law in pursuit of a better life there are a large number of those sex trafficking, murdering, and corrupted individuals coming with them?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brian from Washington

    Uhhh .... did I miss something??? Isn't the Tea Party supposed to be about having LESS government not MORE??

    April 28, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pam

    Hilarious – as though the outcry against the law is in the interest of undocumented immigrants. What we should do with undocument immigrants is not at issue here – what's at issue is forcing a certain class of people (people of color) to prove that they aren't legal. I am of Indian descent, but was born in the United States. My parents are naturalized U.S. citizens. My husband is a permanent resident. When we go to Arizona next month, do we need to bring our passports? Apparently my husband is required to bring his entry papers. Ridiculous – white people visiting Arizona don't have to take such precautions.

    I'm disgusted at being treated like a second- class citizen. Because of the color of my skin, I have to prove that I'm here legally. I have no intention of bringing my passport when I visit, or taking any measures to prove my citizenship. I would love to be the test case – I am an experienced litigator with several years of government service under my belt, to boot. I welcome the opportunity to challenge this law in the courts.

    Oh, and for all of you complaining about undocumented immigrants – who else is going to work at subpar wages to harvest crops? When we find ourselves paying ten dollars for a head of cabbage or $5 for an onion, you'll wish that we had those undocumented immigrants back. Each one of us enjoys a higher quality of life on the backs of undocumented workers. Are you willing to give that up?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CC

    I'm Asian American, and my parents came into this country legally, after waiting for decades. Diego, while I don't agree with the Arizona bill, I do feel something should be done about illegal immigration, which my Mexican American friends who all came in legally agree with. Most people carry their driver's license with them when they go out, so I'm sure that would be enough to suffice as a "get-out-of-jail" card if you are here legally. If you aren't, you should do some serious thinking, as with Catholicism being prevalent in Mexico, you would know that Jesus said "render to Caesar what is Caesar's and what is God's to God." Even as an athiest and moderate liberal, I've studied the Bible before. That means you should obey the laws on Earth as long as it doesn't conflict with God, and entering our country illegally is not obeying his teachings is it? That said, the Arizona bill should be overturned and the federal government should start doing its job to prevent illegal immigration in the first place. Louis, the difference between the Jews and illegal immigrants is that the Jews didn't intentionally break any laws. You can't decide your race, but you can decide whether you break a law or not.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    It's not as simple as signing the guest book at the door. They do not have any way to become legal immigrants. The greenard lottery blocks people from countries that exceeded the limit of legal immigrants in the previous year. That's why it's mostly Mexicans who are the illegals (even more so than other Latin Americans) because they are blocked from the lottery every single year.

    The only way to eliminate illegal immigrants is to make it easier to get a green card. Either eliminated the lottery ban or expand sponsors beyond just family and employers. Employers will never sponsor anyone (unless that person is a retiree) because it's against their interest 100% of the time. They always fair better to bring the person in with a work visa, which traps them at that company just like an indentured servant. A green card would let the immigrant work anywhere, so again, an employer is NEVER going to do this.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nuster

    It is my understanding that most objections over this new law is not about AZ trying to rid illegals, it is the idea of police suspecting non-citizenship. I believe alot of officers can have a pretty good positive hit record if they go by their gut instinct. This has long had a term called fishing. I also beleive the same officers can have a positive hit record on their gut instinct regarding, dopers, drunks, DUI's, and many other undesireables that reak havoc on society. If they would relax the standards they place on officers, we could get rid of all illegals and scumbags. Or do you defend scumbags. If the police stop you kid because he looks like he is up to something, and find drugs, or multible MP3 players that he can not produce sales receipts for you will have no problem right. I wish I could have "water holed" bars and arrested 4 drunks a night before they could pull away from the curb. I liked the idea of that better then delivering death messages. AZ courts had ruled in favor
    of the drunks. I can't remember, any drug problems in AZ? And if you lost your job in the last two years was it because some mexican took your job or was it the millionaire mexicans on wall street.
    I have not lived in AZ in over 30 years. Is Chandler still the jewel of the west or have the mexicans ruined it? I want a strong border enforcement, just not the over zealousness.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Elisa Harvie

    There would be no illegal immigration if someone wasn't accepting BRIBES daily. It;s not possible that these people can actually outsmart our system and get in by the thousands DAILY. HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??...Also, if employers were actually FINED for hiring an illegal they would not bother to come. I hope ALL states follow in Arizona's footsteps. And all of you who want to boycott Ariizona are indeed very confused...what a silly thing to do!!

    Lastly, this is not about racism. It's simply about following the law.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. imuststandup

    Will someone PLEASE tell me with clarity what "reasonably suspicious" looks like on an illegal immigrant?? Gov. Brewer couldn't even say.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
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