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. Yabby

    Bryan – Not all of us are Christians here, and there is this law separating church from state. So don't expect religion to be accepted as a valid basis for laws.

    2) Show me where in the Constitution it says we are a nation dedicated to helping others. We can't even feed all those who are lawful citizens of this country, and I feel we should tend to them first.

    3) Show us how much sales taxes on groceries pay for social services they use. The Center for immigration studies has data showing the burden each illegal has upon the system per year: Almost 3K dollars, and if they were to actually be made permanent residents or citizens, given their current level of skills and education, plus legal access to social services, the burden goes up to 7K.

    This is not sustainable, and we may not be the richest nation for long, as it is, for other reasons.

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

    To everyone raving on and on about illegals, the problem with this law is NOT about illegals. Its that a specific class of US citizens and residents, specifically those of Hispanic heritage are going to be treated differently than other citizens. They will no longer have the expectation of going about their lawful daily business without harassment by the authorities as the rest of us do. And if you think its no big thing to be repeatedly asked for your papers based solely on how you look, read up on South Africa or Mississippi in the 60's

    April 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Deven

    In the 75+ countries I have visited, Identification has been required, including Mexico...

    From Mexican Foreign Ministry web site...

    I am a citizen of another country and I want to visit Mexico . Where and how can I get a tourist visa to visit Mexico ?

    You need to go to a Mexican consulate abroad to ask about the requirements and to take the necessary steps to get your visa. ... The immigration officer at your point of entry into Mexico can also request that you demonstrate that you have sufficient funds and a return ticket to your country. If you are a citizen of any other country, you need to go to a Mexican consulate to request a visa.

    Effective March 1, 2010 U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico as tourists must present a valid passport or passport card to the immigration authority at the point of entry to Mexico. U.S. citizens living in the border area with Mexico may cross the border without these documents. Nevertheless, they should present them if they are traveling 20 miles or more, beyond the border into Mexico, in the designated checkpoints. U.S. citizens entering Mexico by sea may enter without such documents if they are visiting port towns for a short visit. They should present a valid passport or passport card if they travel beyond these port towns.

    How can I get permission to work in Mexico ?
    You must get permission from the INM to reside in Mexico and authorization to do paid work. You must demonstrate that you have a job offer from a Mexican business or institute.

    I am in Mexico as a tourist. Can I extend my stay in Mexico ?
    You need to go to any INM office to request an extension of your visa. You need to have with you your valid passport and the tourist card you filled out. You will also need to prove that you can finance your stay and you will have to pay a fee to extend the visa.

    I am a citizen of another country but I live in Mexico. I want to stay in Mexico longer. What do I have to do?
    You need to go to the INM and request an extension or renewal of your immigration document. To do this, you have to demonstrate that the original reasons for which you were granted the visa still exist.

    Can I do any sort of work in Mexico ?
    If your immigration status is “No inmigrante” or “inmigrante” (non-resident immigrant), you need to get permission from the INM before you can work in an area that is different from the one that you were authorized for. If your immigration status is “Inmigrado” (resident), you can engage in any sort of legal and honest work. All you need to do is inform the INM.

    Can I bring my family to Mexico ?
    You need to request visas for your family at the INM so that they enter Mexico either as tourists or as your dependents. You need to demonstrate that they are first-degree, direct descendents (brothers or sisters, parents, uncles, nephews or nieces). You will also need to demonstrate your economic capacity.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. deb

    Let me see if I can dissect this: A lot of people think that Arizona has broken the law by passing a law that makes breaking the law by entering this country illegally, illegal? What about the ILLEGAL part are you not understanding? They are more than welcome to come in the right way – hell we need them to come in. Most immigrants provide extremely useful services and are very hard workers. We just need to spread the word that you can do it legally – and we welcome them – from every country. Racial Profilers: stop squawking. You are just trying to divert attention away from the real issue. No chance that a legal citizen of the US is going to be deported, detained or arrested. If you are here legally you have many avenues to be able to prove it. If this bills stops all the crime in AZ and elsewhere, why would you call it a bad thing? Quit crying wolf just to try to scare everyone into submitting to your limited viewpoint.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RufusVonDufus


    You are a self righteous idiot! We all love and respect immigrants but we won't put up with illegal immigrants, those who break the first U.S. law with which they come in contact.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jey

    I love how the only people who can spell "immigrant" and any other word longer than 4 letters are those against the bill, that said, has anyone realized or taken the time to actually ponder the reasons why one might enter this country illegally? Better question, was Columbus here legally? I wish I could dumb this down so that the Republicans could understand better, but the reality is this: The United States of America was a country that grew from immigrants, continues to grow because of immigrants, and contains almost a 99% population of immigrants children (or as Moose would call them "Anchor Babies"). It may be time for "Americans" to re-evaluate their own heritage before acting on clearly racially-biased laws. This Bill is plunging AZ into an era we already lived in the 60's.

    Those of you who believe this will free up jobs are kidding yourselves, not only will it fail to create jobs (mostly because Americans refuse to do the work illegals do) but it will create an extremely volatile situation in AZ, people will stop reporting crimes, and take matters into their own hands if they are undocumented.

    Additionally, I've seen people say things like "you don't live there so you don't know" or "how would you like Illegals in your community?" As A US Citizen, and lifetime resident, I would gladly embrace an Illegal to come to my state, my city, and my neighborhood, and I would fight with them to break the barriers of this disgusting anti-immigrant bill.

    Good Luck to all of the Undocumented families out there, and if you want to move to a place where people are tolerant, come to MA-it might be cold, but it keeps out the rednecks!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Burnerjack

    coulpe of thoughts:
    1) AZ is only trying to enforce the laws that the Feds haven't
    2) Illegal means" Against the Law"
    3) Illegal immigration is immoral. It is modernday slavery. It denies people safe working environments, decent wages and a decent standard of living.
    4) Illegal immigration lowers the wages of ALL Americans by flooding the labor pool with cheap labor.
    5) Why does the Federal Gov. look the other way? So Corporations can circumvent the existing workplace safety laws and minimun wage laws.
    6) If people want to obsfucate the issue behind some bullshit ethnic or constitutional arguement, just have the Police make citizenship verification procedural for ANY arrest or contact. No discimination necessary. Verify EVERYBODY.
    7) May I remind all that America is waging a GLOBAL WAR. An unsecured border is the height of suicidal stupidity. Theodore Roosevelt stated succinctly " A NATION WITHOUT BORDERS IS NOT A NATION."
    8) If someone wants to immigrate to the US, WHY DON'T THEY DO IT LEGALLY?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. rn

    Thank You ARIZONA governor . All I can say is , if it walks like a duck and quakes like a duck it must be a duck . If you are drunk driving and get stopped but you are not swaying or slurring you just smell like a wine bottle is that enough suspicion? I would say Yes . If you are stopped for a violation and you have no license or no insurance , and you seem nervous that is enough suspicion for me . So what if you get stopped and you are not illegal then no problem go on about your day .

    April 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Diego

    We won't be the land of the free or home of the brave for long if we pass laws that subject our citizens to harrassment by the government. Carrying papers ??? My father and grandfather will be rolling in their graves.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Roy M Savary

    Thank you Arizona! I used to look to Washington for leadership, but that doesn't live in Washington anymore. Sad, but true. I have heard the horror stories, of all the "abuse" expected over this bill. I can't decide, is it ignorance or plain stupidity? There is a process to follow to become an American Citizen, and crossing the desert in the middle of the night IS NOT the process. I also heard that we would not treat Canadians this way. Really! Well, I'm no expert, but I believe Canadians come to this Country to visit or to live, and they do it the law-abiding way. They do not sneak through the woods in the middle of the night to try to improve their life off the backs of other people. The businesses that are losing business in Arizona is sad, but if your customers are largely illegals, then the law is having the desired affect. I hope your business improves, and I hope your customers come back, and I hope they are American citizens. America has always been the worlds "melting pot", and those are certainly welcome, but do it legally. I have to abide by the laws of this land, and so should you. NO EXCEPTIONS!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Scott Anderson


    April 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Here is food for thought
    In Arizona we have the Castle Doctrine. Lets expand it to include our boarders not just our homes,cars and business. If we could get this passed our state would be empty of ILLEGALS over night.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bama

    I live in Western New York and we are on the border – USA/Canada. We used to be able to cross the border with out proof of Citizenship. That has changed since 911, we now need a passport or an enhanced DL. The enhanced DL has all Citizenship information in the bar code. Anyone who doesn't has a DL needs a passport or birth cert. I am not sure what the big deal is – just show your proof and be on your way. If you don't have the proof of citizenship you can't get back into the USA, it's that simple.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ramon F Herrera

    "Let's just adopt Mexico's policy on immigration"

    No, let's not.
    Signed: America

    Any more stupid suggestions?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Papasan in Az



    April 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
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