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. Sayed

    Too bad it's copied from Federal Immigration statutes, Diego. Those have stood up to challenges of constitutionality. No, the only unconstitutional part of the law is whether the state can legislate to make themselves enforcers of federal law.

    To those who have not actually read the law, please read it first before posting.

    There are penalties for businesses hiring illegals.

    A valid DL does count as proof.

    It does not allow police to investigate merely on the basis of color or race.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Diego

    Marc,
    You write that there is nothing that can be done about it. As you state it is natural to make judgements. But, with this law, it will legitimize the practice and make it legal. Therefore, there is something that can be done about it. Repeal this law. It will be anyway because it is patently un-Constitutional under "freedom from illegal search and seizure" guarantees. Yes, racial profiling goes on. We both agree it's not right. Let's not legitimize it by making it legal in one of our states. I thought the government stopped trampling the Constitution when we got rid of George W. Bush. You do not improve a situation by passing unjust laws. But I appreciate your side of the argument that racial profiling is unavoidable. Let's just not make it legal.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ms.Texas

    Those of us against this AZ law are not for illegal immigration. We're against AMERICAN CITIZENS having their civil rights abused. A lot of you don't seem to be getting that.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DB

    I keep wondering why "immigration reform" = kick out all the illegal immigrants rather than a reformulation of our immigration policy itself. Perhaps the policies dictating who is allowed into the country and how they need to go about entering legally are the source of the problem. The fact that so many people are here illegally is merely a symptom of the problem. Let's try thinking outside of this very narrow-minded, provincial box, people.

    To those of you who are so quick to boot out your "home invaders", I am proud of being a "bleeding heart liberal" when I let it be known that I am willing to do whatever I am capable of to help any human being who is willing to work his/her tail off as many (admittedly not all) immigrants are willing to do (btw, not all legal immigrants or even citizens of the US are able to say they work as hard as many of these illegal immigrants so we can't blame all of our problems on the illegals.)

    April 28, 2010 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Semiller

    I actually agree with the Earle except that I don't think it is worth it is sacrifice constitutional rights to enforce a law. I am surprised that tea partiers are in support of a law that allows the government to require citizens suspected of being illegal to prove their legal status. What happened to less government?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Martin

    I for one will be very happy to take a vacation in Arizona. You have my full support.

    It's a beautiful state – if you want to go there, do it through legal means.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nicole

    Hey Moose, since your nickname is "Moose", I have probable cause to think you may be an undocumented Canadian. I need to see your papers. Oh, sorry, your driver's license doesn't prove you're a citizen – undocumented aliens can get driver's licenses too. Oh, you don't have your citizenship papers with you? Okay, the new law allows us to put you in jail until we can get this sorted out. Don't worry, it shouldn't take more than a few days. What are you complaining about?? As you say, "No papers = No stay here". I wish I could complicate this for you, Moose, but I just can't.

    Also, you should learn to spell and write. You make fun of people who don't speak English, but you're not so good at it either.

    To all you Tea Partiers – I see your point here. I totally do. Most of the Tea Party's political stances are regurgitated Republican talking points that are based on lies and ignorance, but I can understand your position on this one. Illegal immigration is a huge problem and we need to try to fix it – the sooner the better. But there's one little problem with this law – the Fourth Amendment. You know, it's the one that protects people from unreasonable search and seizure. Arizona just made "looks kinda Mexican" reasonable grounds for search and seizure. If you were truly Constitutional purists, you would be marching by the thousands in protest of this law. I guess you only care about the integrity of the Constitution when someone says maybe we shouldn't let people carry semi-automatic assault rifles in national parks.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. musementride

    I support the Arizona Law 100%. And it appears that Utah, Texas, Florida agree too!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kat

    For DAMONE.....................

    Reasonable Suspicion
    "Reasonable Suspicion:" Less than "probable cause," but more than no evidence (i.e., a "hunch.") at all.

    back to top
    Defined
    Defined: "Reasonable suspicion" is information which is sufficient to cause a reasonable law enforcement officer, taking into account his or her training and experience, to reasonably believe that the person to be detained is, was, or is about to be, involved in criminal activity. The officer must be able to articulate more than an "inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or ‘hunch' of criminal activity." (Terry v. Ohio (1968) 392 U.S. 1, 27 [20 L.Ed.2nd 889, 909].)

    "Because the ‘balance between the public interest and the individual's right to personal security,' [Citation] tilts in favor of a standard less than probable cause in such cases, the Fourth Amendment is satisfied if the officer's action is supported by reasonable suspicion to believe that criminal activity ‘"may be afoot,"' (United States v. Sokolow (1989) 490 U.S. 1, 7 [104 L.Ed.2nd 1, 10]; quoting Terry v. Ohio, supra, at p. 30 [20 L.Ed.2nd at p. 911].)

    April 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom Moore

    Dear ANA; unfortunately, you are misinformed because under Federal LAw you as an illegal have no rights. However, because our Federal government is run by lobbyists this FEDERAL LAW is not enforced as it should be. Mexico has Laws. Europe has laws. We are living in a Terrorist Age and we must think that way. It is sad but we must. you want rights? PAY TAXES AND YOU WILL GET THE RIGHTS.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sayed

    Ms. Texas,
    Would you agree that if you run a red light and are pulled over, the police have the authority to demand your driver's license?

    It depends on lawful contact between you and law enforcement. That is, situations where they would already be authorized to ask for such ID.

    If you don't have it, they will be investigating, in addition to whatever violation you committed to warrant the police interacting with you, whether or not you are here illegally, if they have reason to suspect that as well.

    So, what civil rights of citizens are being abused?

    You feel that being asked to show your license and registration is a violation of your civil rights when you are stopped for a traffic violation?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ellen Cox

    It think it is very telling that the Hispanics are so up in arms over this......because it is obvious that they are the majority of the illegals in AZ. Yes the law doesn't say Hispanics, JUST illegals. We have turned so liberal in this country...everyone is to have the rights of citizens whether they are legally entitled or not.....if they sneak in and are draining the economy, are committing crimes, having children, they should stay? NO!
    Do it the right way, come in legally, SIGN the guest book! And no, we can't take everyone! Why do we have to apoogize for saying no?!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 1ProudLatina

    Damone, it won't affect me either (for now), I'm in Florida...but that bill is just plain WRONG and I'm outraged that it was even signed into law.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CC

    I'm Asian American, and my parents came to the US legally from Taiwan after waiting for two decades. While I disagree with the Arizona law, I disagree with illegal immigration as well. Sadly, only in the US would there be people who want the floodgates to open and let everyone into their country. Try that in any other developed country and you'll run into much stiffer opposition. For example, most of the terribly impoverished in Southeast Asia want to get into Singapore, but they enacted a National ID, and have even stricter immigration laws than the US. Most other countries have similar, if not stricter guidelines than the US. When I was in Singapore, I worked for a film studio called ESCP. Even the well-off Singaporean citizens wanted to become US citizens, not to mention the poorer ones. By your logic, I suppose every other developed country is wrong as well then. Anyone like to make a bet against me that the moment you remove immigration regulations you will see millions upon millions of people from all over the world swarming into the US? And what makes a family from Mexico more deserving of living in the US than a poor family that was born in Africa or Asia? Having traveled extensively on humanitarian work, I can tell you that while the living conditions in many areas of Mexico are terrible, they are nothing like the conditions of the impoverished in Africa or Southeast Asia. If anyone should be let in, it should those children who are forced into child prostitution because their family was so poor they couldn't afford any food at all. Or the poor families in Africa whose children are terribly thin. Nearly all of those families I've spoken with applied to enter the US LEGALLY and are still waiting. Do you know how many applications ICE gets each year? Anyone entering the US ILLEGALLY, regardless of race, is a blatant slap in the face to all of them. I hope they aren't reading this, because if they knew about the illegal immigration going on here, I'm sure they would disapprove as well. Having less patience or respect, or committing a crime of convenience is no excuse. All of my Mexican American friends and neighbors oppose illegal immigration for those same reasons.

    There are plenty of people who are willing to immigrate to our country legally AND perform menial jobs. Those who enter legally should get them, not the illegals. My cousin told me the story of guy he recently hired from Indonesia who waited 8 years to get his green card, and had applied for work as a janitor, which he got, after spending three months looking for a job, during which he spent all the money his family had saved up for his trip here. All of the menial jobs he applied for were already filled. He sends most of his pay back to his family there who endured the tsunami, and previously couldn't afford to buy new clothes for his child back home until coming here; this only serves to show me that illegal immigrants are only taking jobs away from legal immigrants, who are willing to do the same jobs without breaking our laws. Please don't grasp at straws for excuses to break a law. Anyone think this man who patiently waited and came here legally is less deserving of even a menial job than an illegal immigrant?

    For those comparing this to the colonization of the Americas, remember that all Europeans, including the Spanish who sent their conquistadors, were initially welcomes by the natives, who gave them land and traded with them. The problems started when they wanted more, and took the natives' lands too. Yes, the Spanish did too. To only point fingers at the Thirteen Colonies and not your own ancestors is hypocritical. The European "visitors" were wrong then, being disrespectful to the natives' wishes, so you're saying it's okay now? Two wrongs don't make it right. We can't change the past, but we can make sure it doesn't happen again in the future.

    The immigrants that came through Staten Island came during a time when jobs were plentiful, and workers were in high demand; they weren't taking jobs from anyone else. Unless you propose a free-for-all floodgate, I don't see the relevance. Immigration is undoubtedly great for any country, but there are plenty of legal immigrants waiting in line for those same jobs that illegal immigrants are taking. Remember when the legal immigrant community in France was rioting over not having any jobs for them?

    The Nazis singled out the Jews for their race, something that is clearly wrong and which the Jews did not deserve. You can't decide your race, but you can decide if you're going to break a law or not.

    That said, the Arizona law should be overturned, and the federal government needs to establish fair immigration laws that can allow everyone a fair shot, while enforcing them to effectively prevent illegal immigration. Just my two cents, take it or leave it.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Speedtoy

    @Bruce:

    "INALIENABLE RIGHTS"

    Does not equate to citizenship.

    Hate to rain on your lack of knowledge on civics..but..look it up sometime.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
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