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

    My grandparents came to this country legally from Mexico, also had to sign those papers that said they would never be a burden to the state. Together with 8 children they worked as migrant workers under deplorable conditions. My father worked since he was 11, helping his family take care of the kids and working the fields. Because they were constantly moving, he only obtained an 8th grade education and never really learned how to read. In spite of that, he has succeeded in this country through lots of hard work and will be retiring with a nice nest egg. One thing he or his family never did was ask for any government handout, unlike so many people do today without any hesitation. If there's one thing my family has is lots of pride and integrity in everything we've accomplished.

    Now, my question is, how is it that a person with little or no education succeeded and others who have grown up with the many advantages this country has to offer can't or can't even find a job? Well, a job that suits them and is not beneath them. Everybody starts from the bottom and works they way up... We all know that, so why is a decent job beneath anyone? Working two jobs that are beneath them to make ends meet while something better turns up? Why are people afraid to do this? Do what you have to do (legally) to bring bread to the table and stop blaming others for your mishaps. Not happy with the system (outsourcing of jobs) do something about it...but don't place the blame where it's easiest... Tackle your government representative and let's all work together to bring about positive change, not resort to racial attacks.

    Did you know that in 1942, there was a program started called the Bracero Program that ended in1964. Anybody familiar with this? Basically, it was an agreement with Mexico for temporary workers to work in railroads, agriculture and do other skilled and non-skilled labor. They needed workers!! Why did they need workers? Because during the great depression half a million MEXICAN AMERICANS were deported! When World War II came, guess what...no laborers. So, AGAIN...history repeats itself.... Kick out those you think are taking your jobs... This time though, I don't think we'll be as lucky about recuperating those jobs. When we start demanding better pay, better working conditions, better benefits...guess what's going to happen? Importing is going to sound a whole lot better...and there again, all our jobs will end up being outsourced. That's the underlying problem...that all the jobs are being outsourced, because according to them we're demanding better pay, but want to pay little for the products. Therefore, to make a bigger profit, companies outsource the labor and the production of products.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Spendlove

    All non-native Americans are immigrants in this great land of "ours".. it's time people pull some head out of butt and remember that. This bill is poo poo, do something to actually clean up immigration so people won't have to resort to sneaking in because good old boy John Smith doesn't want to share his slice of the HUGE land we have here. Oh and by the way jerk faces, illegals pay taxes probably on a daily basis.. it's called sales tax, every state has it. :p

    April 28, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. cmack

    ianprime0509

    Lets all read this together

    WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to OURSELVES and OUR Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marc

    Diego,
    I am not defending the police who profile me, I do not agree with profiling at all but there is nothing that can be done about it. You make up your mind about a person within the first 2 seconds of seeing or meeting them, 2 seconds. We are as a species flawed at a neurological if not also biological level. When any person, regardless of age, sex, or race, is presented with images or situations involving divergent persons the brain automatically, usually without a conscious knowledge, enables the flight or fight response. When a person sees a group of black teenagers (or individual) vs Ozzy and Harriet white teenagers (or individual) there is a different mental response. That is just an example not calling out people of color. People react no matter what, I have a shaved head because I was losing my hair, cannot change that, I have seen women instinctively clutch their purse or pull there child closer as well as men flare out their chest or grip their ladies hand, it is instinct. Racial profiling is going to happen no matter what because we are flawed. You make up your mind in 2 seconds about somebody, count to two and see how fast that really is, not insulting you BTW, 2 seconds is nothing. Biologically and neurologically we are flawed.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Irene

    this law is one step away from university ID cards that conservatives complain about but this won't affect most of the (white) people posting to this article until someone asks you for your proof of citiizenship.

    God forbid you are dark skinned and suddenly required to prove you are a US citizen. Imagine how you will feel being detained until your papers arrive. Don't worry just sit back and enjoy the ride because you will go throug the same ride as all the "illegal" people who have to prove thier citizenship. When your detained you are just another number and no matter how much you pitch a fit you will go through the same shit these other people will go through.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. djanson

    Bruce hey we all know that the only ones who name call and offend are the radical right. Hey could you post your high intellectual IQ and the last time you helped the poor.

    Signed radical right winger,

    April 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sayed

    Hi Damone.

    Read the law. A driver's license is considered proof of not being illegal.

    So, someone runs a red light, has no license. Or, commits a crime, and has none of the documents when caught.

    There's nothing in there that says, walk down the street officers and check ID's of anyone you want!

    Far from it.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Martin

    San Francisco is saying today that they have stopped all city employee travel to Arizona and are considering a boycott of the state.

    Great. Arizona can respond by stopping shipping California power for their grid.

    California relies on power generated in surrounding states and even in Canadian provinces for its needs, as well as for water. There hasn't been a power station built in California since the 1970's due to environmental lobbying, and brownouts are fairly commonplace, especially in the summertime.

    If Arizona was to stop sending power supplies, the brownouts would become more commonplace and California would change their mind pretty quick. I'm surprised that California, New Mexico, and Texas aren't all considering similar laws to those recently signed into law in Arizona. I'm a strong supporter of this law (as an immigrant in Canada) and also believe that they should put Sherrif Joe Arapaio in charge of Homeland Security in the USA.

    The other thing Arizona could do is demand that the California power utility pay off their debt to Arizona for power provided in the past. Come to think of it, British Columbia should make a debt demand for the water and power that it provides to California as well.

    If California thinks they're broke now, wait until they have to pay off those debts!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ryan

    All white people are illegal immigrants in this country. The land was stolen from the true Americans hundreds of years ago. I say deport all the white people and give the land to the Mexicans and other Latinos who are the descendants of native Americans and the true heirs to this land.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 1ProudLatina

    Damone, they won't. I've asked the same question and they simply overlook it.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pete The Truth

    How about not only going after the illegal immigrants but going after businesses that hire them. A hefty fine somewhere in the vacinity of you might lose your business and then see what happens. Althought the bleeding heart liberals will scream bloody murder when you raid the nearest meat packing plant or poultry processing plant. You can't have it both ways. If your illegal you shouldn't be here! It's definitely a disservice to all those trying to get into this country legally! I would like to hear from those individuals!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. lineman

    Illegal immigrants are cheap labor so they will always be welcome in the US as long as they stay cheap. The people who are so against illegals would be outraged if they had to pay for goods and services provided only by legal laborers who had minimum wage, 40 hour work week, workers comp when they get hurt and so on. The outrage at those prices would be many times more than the outrage at illegals. In the past Americans were smart enough to just look the other way and enjoy the cheap prices. It was a win-win situation for workers and consumers. Since the issue has become poitical we have to add it to the list of other issues that America simply is not capable of solving.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Diego

    "Requires officials and agencies to reasonably attempt to determine the immigration status of a person involved in a lawful contact where reasonable suspicion exists regarding the immigration status of the person."

    Very bad, un-American, and un-Constitutional law. It will never stand.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jose Medina

    Alex, mi hermano, forgive me but you are a D-Bag tool of the agitators (Piolin, La Raza, et. al.) Please understand that there were no immigration laws in effect when the Europeans came here. Therefor, they did not break any laws and could not be considered illegal. But you can hopefully see what happens when you do not secure your borders...ask any Indian.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. derfin

    i think texas, arizona etc, should be given back to mexico, since we snagged the land from them illegally in the first place. remember that time the u.s. forced all those mexicans out the first time? for the gold, and then the oil? wasn't that so people could raise their families too? weird. invasions. i think there should be a federal law that says cops can stop anyone at any time and demand a copy of their family history to prove they've been in america for at least 100 years. all these new comers taking away my ancestors' jobs.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
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