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. victor

    im torn on this subject... for one my dad was an illegal immigrant (now has a green card, pays taxes) you wouldnt know he was mexican since hes been here for 30 years but at the same time i live my life seeing how other people just come to our country to mooch off it...proudly and its like damn...thats my tax money, sometimes illegal immigrants get more services then i do and im a american citizen!!. im for reform and no amnesty but racial profiling isnt the way to go about it, im a suspect im my own country because of where my dad was born. when you say "GO HOME MEXICANS" hell.. i agree on some levels but your disrespecting the people who are american citizens that come from a "mexican" background and believe me the consequences of this...not overtly racist roderic but "wink and a nod" redoric that younger people, mainly younger hispanic college educated american citizens who are just starting to hold positions of power are starting to notice. and really... do you want to piss of the people that by population growth alone (even if not a single new immigrant came in) will grow more and more powerful as time gos on. sadly the GOP might be lost for a generation because their too busy pandering to the 95% white, over 50, religious crowd, and thats just not the trend the world is moving to.same thing happen to the irish and italians then when the country needed them they answered the call (ww2, art, literature, ect) 50 years from now my grandkids will wonder what the heck the "boomer" generation was thinking, by then being "hispanic/mexican" will be as american as apple pie. its kinda funny watching all this..just because it seems like this is the beginning of the end for the older generations...the culture war is the last thing they have left..

    April 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Yabby

    "I also notice that EVERY person I've seen supporting this criminal law is white, I wonder how loud whites would scream if THEY were to be pulled over at whim?

    Posted by: JR"

    Who's profiling now? I'm not white, not by a long shot.

    Immigration laws get passed, guess who gets deported. Asians up the West coast, Haitians and other Carribeans in Florida, Central and South Americans from AZ/NM/Texas, and in other states, probably a mix, and wouldn't doubt some Europeans as well, Russians, other 'white' races. Anyone who has so little respect for this country and it's people to break the law to enter and stay knowing they are breaking the law, and especially if they are willing to break other laws here, whether it is to commit violent crimes, or not pay taxes, or steal identities, should have to go.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lori

    most people who complain about immigrants really dont know much about them at all..they do pay taxes and buy things with American dollars that goes back into the economy,,they are not on the welfare system,,they work hard for their money and to keep the farmers of America on their feet...before you judge them,,get educated..

    April 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Susan

    I have a daughter who has dark brown hair and brown eyes. She is of Scandinavian descent, she was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If we were driving in AZ and were stopped, she would have a driver's license and that's it! How would she prove her citizenship? Do we all need to carry a birth certificate? Every citizen should be required to get a passport before a law like the AZ law is put into place. So many people will be profiled it is ridiculous–am I wrong?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HR

    Moose- you're offensive and should take your racist comments elsewhere.

    To ALL on this forum that seem to think Mexican equals illegal immigrant: Not all immigrants are from Mexico! In case you haven't heard, the United States and Mexico aren't the only countries in the world. Immigrants, legal or not, come from all over the world. I bet there are more people [from all around the world] overstaying their visas then there are people "jumping the fence." But no one thinks about that– you narrow-minded people only think about the Mexican taking away a job that, let's be honest, you would never do.
    Stop being ignorant and start acknowledging the fact that it's not only Mexicans coming into this country.

    To those of you who think this law is right: being stopped because you look "illegal" (whatever that means), having your 4th amendment and 14th amendment violated, and the Civil Rights act violated- is not OKAY. Illegal or not, this law targets any person that has a darker skin color– and today, in this country, that should not be tolerated.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan


    70% of rotating farm labor is guess what? American Citizens! Illegals do depress wages as proven when INS busted several meat packing plants in the mid-west. Those plants hired back American citizens at higher wages after they were allowed to re-open. Go figure.

    I'm glad to see AZ fighting like this.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MIchael in Cincinnati

    While true that illegal is not a race, what does an illegal look like???Latino?
    What exactly are the criteria for determining if it looks like somebody is here illegally?
    How about employed without a valid social security number? Any why not look in places where suspects are working, and Americans are prepared to do the jobs in place of the illegal, at the rate the illegal is prepared to work?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. John DSouza

    Lets get real here people. Sure many of the illegals came here for a better life, but we can't afford to take care of all the people in the world! Each country has a responsibility to take care of its OWN people. We can't import all the poverty of the world and fix it. As for the whole racial profiling thing, again get real where do you think 99% of the illegals are from – Mexico – so does it not make sense to profile them. I am sorry but the PC bullshit is a joke, its like the security at airports where grandma in the walker is getting extra screening while Osama's look alike walks through. Screw PC, I myself being of south asian descent, though not Muslim, welcome extra screening, heck I don't want to be blown to pieces because some nut thinks God rewards those who commit murder. I don't want to sound like a inconsiderate person, I feel for those people who came here for a better life but we can't look after citizens of other countries, period.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JRigg

    1) Mexicans and all other immigrants who have lived here illegally for any reasonable period of time DO pay taxes. Every time they buy something, they pay taxes. Every time they pay a power bill, they pay taxes. Every time they fill up their tank, they pay taxes. And if they are getting a paycheck, they (and the employer) are paying federal income tax.

    2) Drivers' licenses are NOT proof of citizenship. You can be here illegally and get license to drive pretty easily.

    3) The employers providing slave-wage jobs to people here illegally are more to blame than the people taking advantage of the opportunity. If you leave milk on your doorstep, don't be mad at the stray cat for sniffing it out and sitting on your porch. It's supply and demand.

    4) Most of the immigrants to the US in the 1800s and early 20th century came here WITHOUT PAPERS. And they were practically welcomed with open arms.

    5) Perhaps if it were possible to get citizenship in the USA legally in a reasonable amount of time, say a year or two, you might have less people choosing the "illegal" route.

    6) If you were raised in the abject poverty of many places in Mexico, you might choose to risk your life to come to America as well.

    7) If the Native Americans treated Europeans the way most of you are treating Mexicans, this wouldn't be a white country, would it? Some of you act like you are so entitled to this land, like it's your birthright. My Native American ancestors say, "Screw you buddy." If Europeans decided survival of the fittest works best for THEIR needs, than maybe the Mexicans can do the same thing. Welcome to the USA!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. On the fence

    You know if you run from a cop in a "high-crime" area, the cop can stop you. If it is not I believe you can run as much as you want without a stop.

    The this law is unconstitutional crowd are overly emotional, (symptomatic of the left), avodaint of a fact intensive inquiry, and overly simplistic in their conclusions. Everything can lead to anything. It requires a deeper analysis to say something will.

    For example, historically, entitlement programs have grown beyond expectation and tettered on insolvency.

    Will a citizen be harrased improperly, sure, and when i was in college i had long hair and a beat up car, i got stopped in nicer neghborhoods. I

    believe the proper training and procedure could deal with the issue.

    I am more concerened with the use of this law as a precursor for searches unrelated to this law.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lady

    So I guess if an woman here illegally is raped...if she reports this to police, she will be deported? Doesn't this encourage crimes against illegals?
    And from the sound of many of these comments, the problem seems to be racism rather than immigration policy. I say let the Feds overturn this racist law and start doing their job!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. David, Los Angeles, CA

    Wonder if these 2 bigots know they are living in homes, driving on roads most likely BUILT by illegals. Think they would stoop to do any manual labor? Hell no. They're too old and fat. What they hell do these 2 care? They're WAY beyond employable age. It's not like anyone is taking their jobs.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. britney

    Dan, maybe you should inform yourself on foreign issues before you open your mouth to argue with ME about something that actually requires a few brain cells. Thank you.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James Ruston

    Can we just admit two things. 1) We cannot "close our border." It is a physical and practical impossibility. 2) We cannot deport those who are here illegally. That is also physically and practically impossible. Until everyone admits to these two facts of life, and starts looking for real solutions, this problem will only get worse.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Diego

    You just don't get it. It's not just showing your drivers' license. That is no proof of citizenship. A passport or birth certificate is the only legal means of identifying yourself as a citizen. Even your Social Security card has no photo. A fake drivers' license can be purchased just about anywhere – ask any 18-20 year old college student.
    Again, you only dismiss the wrongness of this law because it will not affect you.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
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