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. What's fair is fair

    Let's just adopt Mexico's policy on immigration: Immigrants can be asked for documents at any time with or without reasonable cause. Foreigners cannot own property, cannot criticize the government and are ineligible for state services, including health care. Immigration is not allowed if you upset the racial/ethnic well being of the country. Illegal entry into Mexico is a felony and punishable with 2 years in jail, regardless of circumstances.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Doc v

    As an attorney and university professor who has taught American Constitutional Law, I would like to add my clarification to the discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment specifically. The amendment contains three specific clauses: Due Process; Equal Protection; and, Privileges and Immunities. These provisions, enacted following the Civil War, are to ensure states protect the same rights and liberties as required of the federal government.

    The language of both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses make them applicable to "...all persons...." within the jurisdiction of the state. Whether a citizen or illegal immigrant, all persons are entitled to be treated the same in the eyes of the law. Protection for free speech and protection against illegal search or seizure are a few of those rights.

    The Privileges and Immunities Clause, however, uses the language "...all citizens...". This is a significant difference. This clearly means that only lawful citizens are entitled to enjoy the privileges of legal residency provided by the state government; food stamps, medical services; education and so on. A person illegally in the Unitied States who wrongfully uses such services is committing a criminal act.

    And so I agree with Gary, that individuals committing criminal acts have an equal right to prosecution.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Moose

    The Moose Says:

    "ALL ILLEGAL MEXICANS CAN PACK THEIR BAGS AND HIT THE ROAD"

    April 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. will7245

    you know, I am white, but my two children are 1/2 Hispanic, born in the US if they where in AZ right now minding their own business a cop could spot them and demand proof of Citzenship. If for some reason they didn't have it on them they could be deported to Mexico a country that they have never lived in and don't speak the lanuage. Before you say it won't happen, some cops not all will be out to "get" the wet-backs. The immigration laws are wrong we need immigration but they make it too hard and give too much power to the NVIS. My wife is from Colombia and we have been fighting for 3 years to bring her here legally, but the consular office keeps saying no and this is my wife. If I where a big company and wanted to bring someone here it wouldn't take 3 months to get them a visa.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Moose

    Hey My Hockey Guy, let's not complicate this very simple issue. Don't really care if you're from Canada, Mejico or Russia - NO PAPERS, then NO STAY HERE. Kapishe?

    Don't want to hear about your hockey equipment, don't care about the color of your mother's skin. NO PAPERS = NO STAY HERE.

    I wish I could try to complicate this issue for you guys, but I just can't.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    You people should really listen to yourselves. Is this really about people committing a crime by simply stepping over a border? Or is it white people who simply want to get rid of poor Mexicans over feelings of hate? I'm not supporting open borders, but some of you have no sense of humanity.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sixoh

    The only ones making this a racial issue are the fools who have a low IQ and get their news from scuttlebutt. They don't know what's going on, have no facts, and therefore are forced to default to the only thing that IS in their face, the new "Gotcha" wild card – RACISM!

    Any fool can make a claim like that. It takes intelligence, caring, deep thought, all the facts, etc to sit down and make up your mind about this. Anyone who has a knee jerk reaction is automatically disqualified from this discussion.

    A common way to tell "you" are right and "they" know it but don't want to lose is when the dissenting side starts a sentence with "At least I...." LOL

    April 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Moose

    The Moose is Loose! C'YA ILLEGAL MEXICANS. Take your anchor babies too. No more sucking on the teet of the American taxpayer.

    Buh-bye!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    The reason people are opposed to this is not because they want illegal immigrants to stay in the country. You people are missing an important point that was made by Tong Knots. LEGAL citizens of the United States look just like the ILLEGAL immigrants. By including language that requires police to stop people they think are here illegally promotes racial profiling because if you look like a Mexican, then there is a chance you could be illegal.

    We get upset at the same kind of thing when a black person is pulled over because he/she is black. By leaving the immigration law vague enough to be open to interpretation, that is the problem. The fact that people can look at this law and take issue with that fact is proof enough that the law is flawed. One word: Loopholes! I like how tea partiers can say that the healthcare bill provides funding for abortion when it explicitly says it does not, but then say racial profiling will not happen under this bill when the bill is vague about how cops should determine who is and isnt here legally.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mywordz

    “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.”

    Sorry but arent they doing this already for free?

    April 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Law Abiding American

    will7245 – Your wrong – I have seen workers at the company I work for over 50,000 strong in the US be deported because they did not complete all the requirements to become an American citizen. And Hockey guy – produce a drivers license or birth certificate and you can stay – c'mon all be reasonable – you are allowed an opportunity to prove citizenship before we kick your butt out the door.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dr. Phil

    I hate Dr. Phil, but he says something that rings really true here:

    "Those with nothing to hide, hide nothing."

    In my experience, people who distrust police and law enforcement in general typically have something to hide.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Moose

    Don't matter one iota to me if you're purple, green, orange, black, white, etc - if you're in this country illegally, then hit the road.

    Stepping over the border? How about this Billy - would it be OK then for me to "step into your house"? Or, would you be whining all night long to the police about how the Moose came into your house uninvited?

    ANSWER: YOU'D BE WHINING ALL NIGHT LONG!!!!

    It really is this simple.....I won't enter your country without following the proper procedures, and you won't enter mine. I wish I oculd complicate the issue for you, but I just can't.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. NR

    I guess it's okay that I, an American-born citizen of Spanish descent (legal immigrant who became a citizen), can now be stopped because of a "reasonable suspicion" that I am here illegally? When "reasonable suspicion" isn't defined anywhere in that law? That's okay with people? Really? What other reasonable suspicion is there besides race? Can you pick out an illegal immigrant by anything other than looks?

    Considering all the hatred toward Hispanics being demonstrated on here, other sites and the news channels, I should have no fear of being stopped by armed police. Neither should my siblings or any of their children. Right.

    And let's get serious. This is expected to stop illegal immigration? What a joke. Even those that do get caught and deported keep coming back. There's more incentive to come than to stay away! Until we change our immigration policy to accurately and efficiently (ie, quickly!) meet economic demand, there's no chance of controlling illegal immigration.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Moose

    ALL ILLEGAL MEXICANS, START PACKING YOUR BAGS!!! The party is over.

    No hables Ingles!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
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