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. John

    For the past 5 days I have been reading all view points on SB 1070. As a tax paying citizen of Arizona I am proud of Gov. Brewer and her commitment to residents of Az. Our state has become so over run with "ILLEGAL" aliens and all the problems that is being caused within our boarders. This is AMERICA and we welcome people from all over the world to "APPLY" for citizenship. YES this means you have to learn our laws and our "Language", and our history to become a lawful citizen. We have over the years granted citizenship to many people of different races and back ground. How do you tell all the law abiding people who respected our laws and way of life and became citizens of the USA that oh well you played by the rules but all the "ILLEGALS" in this country should be granted citizenship and we should learn there language. When I travel to Mexico and other countries in order to gain entry to there country I must produce my pass port. When I leave I again have to produce my pass port. While I am in there country I must carry my pass port and if asked I must produce it. I can and do respect your countries laws, why can you not respect ours?
    Our President needs to keep in mind he swore an oath to the LEGAL citizens to up hold "OUR LAWS" not jump on a band wagon for Illegal’s. My question to him is what part of ILLEGAL doesn't he understand?
    After reading what so many out of state groups are doing to incite this issue which only applies within AZ boarders and has nothing to do with there part of the country I hope when other states pass laws as we did, all who spoke against our law will feel the full affect of what it means to be an "ILLEGAL". Iam proud to live in a state that has chosen to be in the fore front of this legislation and who believes we as citizens of the state of Arizona has a right to be free of ILLEGALS, drugs and gangs. Respect our laws and we will respect you.
    Governor Brewer you have my vote.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Katie

    Er, do you all know you can still get a US license if you are not a US citizen? Providing "papers" would require you to carry your birth certificate, state ID, or passport. How many people carry those on a daily basis? Just wanted to clarify that for you all.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. smh

    I tell ya....there are some mean evil people in this world. I'm sure the American Indians feel the same way about you people that's so ready to send mexicans back. How can you blame them for wanting a better lif?. Maybe they just can't afford to do things legally. They are very poor people. To be so close and not have the same freedoms as us... No wonder they sneak across the border to a better life. I don't blame them. You people suck!!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. squealy

    I do wonder how they are going to decide who "looks" illegal. What does an illegal look like? If an illegal "looks' Hispanic, there is racial profiling right there, all nicely built in. So far, no one in support of this has been able to answer the question of what criteria they will be using to determine who is suspicious-looking or -acting enough to warrant being asked to prove citizenship. How would you like to be questioned as to your citizenship? Where is the Libertarian outcry? You cry out over everything else. . . .now something that you would think you'd really get your panties in a knot over, and nothing.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Keith

    HEY LADY
    If a woman gets rapped that is a horrible crime. But do you think the person that would rape any woman should ask for immigration status before that rape occurred? Now that example you just gave is typical LEFT WING BS.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Victoria

    Everything that this stands for is, funny, ignorant and stupid at the same time. I was born and raised in America both my parents as well as my 6 siblings were born in "PR" for those who don't know what "PR" stands for- Puerto Rico. I speak two languages because I made an effort to do so. I know many puertoricans that do not speak spanish and viceversa. America the land of the free....WOW....Tim James and for the rest of the "Tim James" in America, if you are soooo smart why don't you learn a second language? Maybe you can learn Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, etc. there so many to choose from. And then maybe, just maybe you wont have that inferior complex and not feel as dumb as you sound. As well as not having to feel that people who speak more than one language are talking about you, because you simply can't understand a word they are saying. Aprendan a hablar otro idioma y no sean tan envidiosos. Yeah you might want to get a translator for that.

    Ohhh..... Tim James you are my mentor you will lead this world to greatness. NOT!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dsanders

    Because more "Us vs. Them" mentality is exactly what this country needs.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Damone

    Wow, there is a ton of white ignorance here but then again it's AmeriKKKa so it's expected. As a black male, this law disgusts me and reminds me why I will NEVER go to Arizona. I understand the need to get the immigration issue under control, but using RACIAL PROFILING as a method of doing so is not the way. Whites who support this law do so b/c they do not have to worry about being harrassed b/c they "look like citizens." Somebody tell me what an illegal alien looks like. I'll wait..........

    The sad part is that teapartiers and left wingers constantly rant about big government and how intrusive government is becoming, but fail to see how this law does that. And furthermore they support it vigorously.

    Plain and simple. this IS a race issue mainly b/c the law singles out certain races as illegal and leaves the law so vague that it's bound for corruption and mass harrassment.

    I keep trying to have faith that racial issues will get better in this country but things like this remind me why I'm skeptical.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brandon

    Okay, I read the top half of the previous comments and I am absolutely SICKENED by the lack of thinking going on in here. First off: a driver's licence is NOT a proof of citizenship (as found on the "how-to get a passport" guide of travel.state.gov). These are the following accepted proofs of citizenship: Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport, Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state, Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth, Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship. How many of you carry around these things every day? I haven't seen my birth certificate in years, and I don't have a passport. But that's not my main point, just something that irks me.

    The actual text that I've found on the Arizona Legislature's website (azleg.gov) uses the following wording: "FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
    21 OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS
    22 STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
    23 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
    24 WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON."

    Lawful contact simply means that, if the officer does something illegal at any time, he or she may not ask for immigration status papers. However, "reasonable suspicion" is left completely up in the air and is thus completely subjective. "Reasonable suspicion" could mean "seeing someone commit a crime" to one person and "looking Hispanic" to another. We cannot have any ambiguity in a law like this. The Constitution protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. In the United States, the government does not have the right to conduct searches based solely on racial profiling. I'm not sure exactly how else to state this. While it is true that many officers in Arizona will try to avoid racial profiling, many others will use racial profiling as a general guideline. Because they aren't looking for illegal white people, are they?

    Also, illegal immigrants illegally gain access to only a couple of social benefits. However, they pay income/Medicare/Social Security taxes but will never be able to access Medicare or Social Security payments. That means they are paying into our system and getting what from the government? Primary and secondary schooling? Tell me what you get from the government for free. The right to vote? Illegal immigrants don't even get that.

    Look at Wikipedia's "Illegal immigration to the United States" page. I live in California, and we have an estimated 2,930,000 illegal immigrants - fully 25% of all the illegal immigrants in the country. Arizona has an estimated 500,000. I'm not really sure what Arizona is complaining about. I go to college with a disproportionately high number of Hispanics, Asians, and African-Americans. I had a babysitter when I was very young who was here illegally. (Though she's here legally, now.)

    Also, to the idiots joking about how if you don't speak English you shouldn't be here, or making jokes connecting people who don't speak English and illegal immigration: Grow up. Have you guys ever been to Little Tokyo, or Chinatown? I swear, I don't hear a single English word when I go there, sometimes. And guess what? The United States does not have an official language. Compare an encyclopedia's entries on the United States and, say, France. (Or use Wikipedia, lol.) We have no listed official language.

    Okay, I'm sick of trying to argue on the Internet. I'm sure I fail for even trying, lol. But I hope this made a difference to at least SOMEONE.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lori

    @J.Rigg 🙂 well said

    April 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. I think the tea they are drinking is spiked with something

    “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.”

    I'm sure the Native American communities in Arizona think this same way.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Yabby

    Hey JRigg:
    The process does take years, even at its fastest. And many, many people have gone that route. Complaining it takes more than a year "or two' is bogus. Would you force your partner to have sex to fulfill your urges and 'needs' because they say they want to wait until if and when you get married, but you don't want to wait that long and don't see why you should have to?

    The time as a persmanent resident DOES serve a purpose. You show that you are capable of being a good citizen. Not breaking major laws, paying your taxes, etc. There are good, valid reasons.

    Pay taxes: The illegals are employed are either paid under the counter so that the employer does NOT have to pay payroll taxes, or if the employer is actually reporting them to the government, and pays payroll taxes on them, it is through the illegal worker's use of a stolen Social Security number. You can't actually pay payroll taxes unless the money is linked to an SS#.

    Finally, you can't compare policies of 100 years ago to now. Back then, the social services and other things that could be taken advantage of were not in place. You either provided for yourself, depended on family, or starved and went back to your own country. Look at 'Angela's Ashes' by Frank McCourt. Starving in Ireland, they came here. Starving here too, they went back. Back then, the states and cities didn't have an obligation to not let you die. Now they do, and it's a heavy financial burden. Not the only one, but a signficant one nonetheless.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Walter

    RESPONSE – YOU are wrong. I read the law, too. The law allows police to question any person with whom the officer makes "lawful contact." That includes criminals, but also victims, and people who report crimes BUT NOT ANYONE ELSE THE COP HAPPENS TO RUN INTO. What foul recess of your pitiful mind did you pull this from? You, sir, are the IGNORANT one.

    Let me 'splain something to you, Responsey. Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa Sheriff's Department was trained by ICE to enforce immigration laws under the ACCESS program. That's a LOCAL law enforcement agency enforcing FEDERAL law.

    When Arpaio started doing "crime suppression sweeps" in Hispanic (where the illegals are) neighborhoods, ICE and the Fed pulled their agreement with him. But Arpaio just kept on doing it. And he's still doing it today. Arpaio sets up where illegals ARE and then he pulls over each and every person committing a crime – speeding, running a red light, broken tail light, failure to signal a lane change, whatever. But the first FACT of the matter IS that if you're not doing any of those things, you don't get pulled over. And the second FACT of the matter IS that if you're pulled over and you're here LEGALLY, you get a ticket and go on your way.

    So, what did the pro-illegal Justice Department do to stop Arpaio? They began an investigation of Arpaio for "civil rights violations." Yep. An investigation. ONE YEAR AGO! ONE!!! YEAR!!! AGO!!!

    Bet you can't guess what happened. No? I'll tell you then. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Bupkus. One year later and still nothing. No charges at all. Know why? 'CAUSE IT'S NOT ILLEGAL TO ENFORCE THE LAW AND HE'S NOT VIOLATING CIVIL RIGHTS!!!

    And the entire state of Arizona is gonna do it just like him now!

    This has impliciations all right! First, for the illegal Mexican drug dealers who stole my car a few years ago and used it to ferry drugs back and forth across the border before finally committing a homicide in the car! Second, for the 500,000 illegals and their children who are using almost a BILLION dollars a year just in free education, never mind the other services (emergency rooms, etc.). Guess they'll all just have to go back to Mexico or on to San Francisco or Albuquerque.

    And your ambulance example is moronic! First, calling an ambulance is NOT lawful contact if you're not there when the cops show up, rocket scientist. Second, you miss the point (of course). The illegal alien WILL NOT BE THERE to call the ambulance because THIS LAW gets 'em outta Arizona and back to Mexico, San Francisco, Albuquerque, California, or wherever the hell they wanna go? Comprende?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Anthony

    Are any of you aware of the fact that in 1988, the US government paid out $1.6 BILLION tax-payer dollars for incarcerating Japanese US citizens merely because they were Japanese? The order which affect the imprisonment of US Japanese citizens was Executive Order 9066. Not sure how anyone can not see the parallel between these two pieces of legislation. Both require racial profiling to enforce. The first time a US citizen is detained, arrested, and/or deported because he or her legally declines to provide immigration papers... because they don't have any (being a natural born US citizen), the groundwork will have been laid for a legitimate lawsuit. Who knows how much we the tax-payers will have to shell-out this time.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David Scott

    Rip-publicans are low life, lying, bigots who care nothing for the people of the United States. They are obstructionists, traitors and ignorant of the problems of the AMERICAN PEOPLE. Screw Rip-publicans in 2010.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
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