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. 1ProudLatina

    GOT ANOTHER SOLUTION TO GET RID OF THE CRIME AND ALL IN THE DRUG CARTELS INVADING ARIZONA. How about you all stop smoking pot, snorting cocaine and shooting up heroine. This brings down the demand, hence, no drug cartels and lower crime rate. What do you think? It's all up to you...take some responsibility and stop looking for scapegoats. BTW, loved the numbers regarding how much money illegal immigrants take from the government, it would be interesting to see how much legal citizens take... I've met a few "white" Americans that look in good shape to me and are collecting disability... Hey, even met a wife and husband team... Hmm...makes you think, no? Guess illegal immigrants aren't the only abusers...and this is just one little thing I've observed, I could go on and on..

    April 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Frannie

    For Dave-

    Dave, "for real?" is an Native American. The Spanish, for the most part WERE white until they co-mingled with the Aztecs, Mayans and other NAs, getting a lot of "Indian" blood mixed with the Spanish.

    As for the statement that people cannot come across the border legally because they are criminals–I call BS on that! They can't get in here legally because the visa game is stacked against Mexico.

    Neither you nor Moose seem to have any knowledge of the immigration quotas set way back when Reagan was president (a deal was cut with certain corporate interests). Mexico is allotted less visas than Ireland or Luxemburg. India gets a larger number, as does China. The result is that Mexicans trying to get the proper paperwork may never see it while visas allotted to many European countries go unclaimed.

    Those who do manage to get the legal paperwork then have to hope their family members also get it or they come here legally and then have to apply to get their spouses and children in. That could take a decade or more.

    When my great-grandparents came here from Europe 100 years ago, no one demanded they fork over a fortune for papers and visa. They just had to be healthy and willing to work. Now it has become just another shell game.

    Funny thing, though. The white guy down the street who just lost his job laughed in my face when I suggested he apply for a casual labor position with a friend's business. He told me that was beneath him. I used to see people turn down farmwork all the time back home. So, you people tell me–who deserves the work more?

    As someone pointed out, even the "illegals" pay taxes–food, utility fees, gas (for roads), sales (when they buy clothes), property taxes (even if they rent, the landlord factors those in) and even medical if they manage to get Medicaid (still premiums and co-pays) for their children born here.

    Finally, to address that medical thing: there are plenty of U.S. citizens who also use the ER as their personal care facility and claim indigency to not pay their bills, either. My best friend used to do that till she qualified for Medicaid. Myself? I have private insurance that goes up in cost every year while providing less care.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bryant Ziemba

    Illegal immigrants do have rights in this country contrary to belief! Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, which cites under the 14th amendment, "No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This means two things 1) illegals do have certain rights within this country and 2) they can enact certain constitutional rights and provisions such as the 14th, which maintains that “Equal Protection Clause was intended to work nothing less than the abolition of all caste-based and invidious class-based legislation.”

    April 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Diego

    Brandon,
    You've said it all Bro. A very coherent and well thought out argument against this legislation. Everyone read what Brandon says in post number 490 and you will appreciate the argument of the majority of people who oppose this un-American legislation.

    AZ – the state that said "NO" to MLK day.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Keith

    Bruce, first before you post information, know what you are talking about. The Bill of Rights does not say that everyone has inalienable rights. The Declaration declares that certain rights are inalienable and that is because they are given by God and not by man. Further, we know that the primary author of the Declaration was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was a slave owner so we also know that our grand ideal did not actually function in practicality. This is unfortunate but a fact. I lived in a South American country for two years and had to have a national identification card that indicated I had a right to be in their country. I did not look like the citizens of the country and was occasionally profiled by law enforcement. The country is rampant with corruption and that is why I was profiled so I would give a bribe. This national ID did not make me feel less free, nor like an unwelcome visitor, it was just a requirement. It never interfered with my ability to enjoy that country and I was privileged to call it home for those two years. Lastly, why do you need to name call. Name calling is not constructive when any side does it...liberal or conservative. If we spent less time name calling, we might be able to accomplish more things constructively.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Spencer

    I think its great this new law, and here's why. Once rich white people discover the help has gone, and lettuce costs $5/head, then immigration reform will actually happen. So maybe this will finally nudge things along enough that we can see our corrupt system that essentially encourages poor mexicans to run across the border so that we can exploit them, we can see that system fixed. Dunno how of course, but that's my hope.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bryan

    Amen, Damian Latino of Post #438, AMEN!! Many people, while calling themselves Christian are as far from the Christian beliefs and practice as Earth is to Pluto. And it is sad that all these people here who support the new Arizona Law can think about is getting Hispanics out of Arizona. To them, the less the better. I have one question to ask all of you. How would Jesus Christ feel and react to see what is happening in Arizona where people are being turned away, searched, and eyeballed to see if they are of a certain ethnicity or not? It would be a sad day indeed as this would not be to His teachings.

    Good Lord, have we turned into an uncivilized nation forgetting that we are predicated as the world's RICHEST nation, dedicated to HELPING others? Again, Jesus would be very sad indeed to hear people think about indicting a whole bunch of people who are so close to us in distance and who come to work for us because many of us simply do not want the jobs they do. Oh, and they also pay their taxes each time they buy their groceries and other things. But to some this does not matter, you know why? Because their heart has already hardened to a point that nothing can make it tender anymore where other people are concerned (unless it is one of their own, of course.) Jesus did not place barriers on anyone from any country, let's not forget. But to those seeking supremacy, in the name of Casting Those Hispanics Out, their quest to be superior and to dominate everything and everyone is certainly no virtue. But they forget that one day they are going to have to give an account of their actions to God. Of that, there is no escape whether you want to believe it or not. The Holy Bible is very sincere and clear in what it says on that point.

    May God Bless those who have a Compassionate Loving heart for their fellow man! Their rewards will richly be found in Heaven at their appointed time.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frannie

    I have one cousin who looks like he might be Hispanic because he is actually part Cherokee. He gets harassed all the time as a suspected "illegal" and has been stopped many times because he has a nicer car than most of the cops stopping him (GS15 will buy a whole lot of nice).

    April 28, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thomas

    Missing the Point,

    Suspicion of being illegal- we should be cracking down on illegal immigration. But define "Suspicion of being illegal". Who are we suspicious of being illegal? How does a police officer comply with this law? Under this law police officers are required to stop those who he SUSPECTS to be here illegally.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pat

    Thank you, Diego.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 1ProudLatina

    DAMONE!! BRAVO!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. US Citizen/Spanish Speaker

    @Moose "No hables ingles" means "Do not speak English" in the imperative sense. Just wanted to point that out.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    Let's say the police don't stop people randomly – benefit of the doubt – but they can ask for papers if you have a traffic violation. I'm white, so I have a reasonable expectation that they will not ask me for that. If I'm Hispanic and legal or even a US citizen, that means I will probably have to carry my papers with me WHEREVER I go, and if I forget, I could get thrown in jail. Talk about second class citizenship!

    And what if I'm white and a police officer decides to be egalitarian and ask me for my papers? I don't have immigration papers, I never expect to carry my birth certificate with me. Do I get thrown in jail?

    In principle, I understand Arizona wanting to get on top of the situation, but this is a severely flawed approach

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

    it's funny that everyone who wants immigrants to be booted unceremoniously seems to think they're all in america to rob jobs and leech off the gov't programs and do damage to our society with their disrespect and disregard. if it came down to sneaking into another country to make some money or sit and watch my family starve and die in the dust? i'm thinkin i'm crossin that border and setting up an account with western union.
    doesn't being "the greatest nation in the world" carry some global responsibility? it's ok to help the world out when it means bombing afghan babies and despots and playing with pyrotechnics, but when it means actually helping a people without shooting them in the face it's time to make a harsher law?
    doesn't matter anyway. the first time someone gets arrested for not having documents and turns out to be an upstanding citizen of the united states, the lawsuit will bankrupt the state.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JRigg

    To all the "illegal" immigrants: if you can, please show America what it would be like without you. Go away for a month. When the American economy collapses as a result, you might find opinions about your value to our society would change, and that we would find a way to make your stay here easier or even permanent.

    Good call Spencer.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
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