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. alex

    I agree. You people are not illegal, just immoral.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Diego

    Sayed wrote:
    Then immediately you say, if a police officer decides that a brown face constitutes "reasonable suspicion", that police officer can harrass, detain you.

    Does what you wrote make sense to you?

    Yes, it makes sense. Do you really think a police officer is going to say that's why they were suspicious? You are much more naive than your posts indicate. You are just using weasel words and semantics to twist what this law is really all about. At the very least it is poorly worded. I guess you will just have to be surprised when it is ruled un-Constitutional, won't you?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sayed

    320 bucks for worker visa.

    To go to permanent residency, 1000 and a little more (other fees like biometrics).

    Last I heard, the coyotes were charging a lot more than that.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mark_mira

    President Obama has done more good for this country than anyone in the GOP has done in 200 years, The GOP ruined America in 8 years gave America the worst economy and
    downfall since the Great Depression. Then the Tea Party comes along, which is the biggest joke ever. God prayer for this country. AZ and the GOP thinks only white people live in America. Sad.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Gary

    2toy is right on;
    NO American citizen is required to carry proof of citizenship here in America. We all carry all kinds of ID for driving, work, school etc. but none of that proves citizenship. All Americans should be insulted by this law that presumes guilt and requires the proof of innocence.

    With the exception of direct descendants of slaves and indentured servants, EVERYONE in this country can trace their roots to someone who didn't want to be where they were, and that includes native Americans (remember the land bridge from Asia).

    This is not the solution.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TruLatina

    I am a sceond generation latina, my grandparents arrived to this great country via Mexico, LEGALLY. My Grandfather was so proud to be an American. He always told us his story of how hard he worked to save money to pay the "fee" and how he would check the"list" every week to see if his and my grandmother's names were on it so they could enter, and how proud he was to become a USA citizen and fly his American Flag on his porch. To allow anyone who enters this country illegally, to have "amensty" or a "freepass", is a great injustice to ALL immigrtants who did it RIGHT, To allow illegal immigrants a "free-pass" is an injustice to anyone who is pursuing entrance into our Country legally. Allowing illegal immigrants to stay, gives them no incentive to obey our laws. I support Arizona's law 100%, ask me for proof I will glad to produce, I plan to go to Scottsdale in the June and have a great time!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Legal African Immigrant

    Well done Arizona.
    I am a legal immigrant from Africa, and I am priveleged to now be an American Citizen. I did it the legal way, pay my taxes, follow the law, and respect the constitution. I support LEGAL immigration. God Bless America.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Honduras Expat

    Why not make immigration laws the same as the country people are coming from? Example: Belize cost to get papers $3,000 Plus you must bring in $2,500 USD each month to convert to Belize money. Honduras – Cost to get paperwork $2,500+ Must bring in $1.500USD each month to convert to Lempira. Panama, Mexico, Nicaragua, British Virgin Islands, ...any place in the world will give you residency as long as you bring money from whatever country you are from... each month.

    Getting the residency takes anywhere from 6 months to years. depends on how many corrupt officials have to be paid off. (same as the US with all its Attorneys, permits, department...)

    All these countries have random roadblocks where you must present your papers – ie drivers license, residency certification, visa. No big deal, one has the paperwork with them. People who are afraid in the US – is not because of the US police, it is because of their experience with the police in the countries they came from.

    Doing the reverse..

    April 28, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Eric from Florida

    Hey NR... If you are really from "Spanish" decent then you are a white European. What are you worried about?.. Get your demographics straight.
    And those of you that are against Arizona enforcing the Federal law, shame on you. You are a disgrace to my country and all it stands for... If you want to change the Constitution of my country then elect people that will do it. Until then you must abide by the law.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe_American

    We need to conquer Baja Mexico and make it a US state. Just take it. This will give Americans more liebenstrom. We deserve reparations for what they have stolen from us illegally. Our army can beat the heck out of their army. they are weak and we are stronger. Take Baja California, let is be bilingual. THIS WILL allow Americans of all races (african / asian / arab / etc) to continue to expand. Then we should consider other lands – maybe parts of Canada or even parts of the sahara desert or africa. If those people can live here, then we can conquer them there.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kat

    Congressional study shows illegal immigrants sap tax dollars
    Phoenix Business Journal – by Ty Young Phoenix Business Journal

    A study by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday backs up the view that undocumented immigrants sap more tax dollars than they provide, especially in education, health care and law enforcement.

    The study pulled together reports from the past five years, using data from sources including the Pew Hispanic Center, the Rand Corp., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and various universities. The Congressional study also incorporated facts from states, including Arizona, but its authors acknowledged there was no aggregate estimate that could be applied to the entire country.

    The report says that in 1990, 90 percent of undocumented immigrants primarily were in six states: California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

    By 2004, undocumented immigrants had increased tenfold in other states, most notably Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, according to statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center.

    The report estimates there are 12 million undocumented immigrants nationwide. Of those, 60 percent are uninsured and 50 percent of the children are uninsured. Again using 2004 statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center the average income of undocumented immigrants was $27,400 while Americans earned $47,800. The difference puts undocumented immigrants in a lower tax bracket, thus reducing the amount of federal and state income taxes generated.

    The study also showed that while undocumented workers represented just 5 percent of state and federal service costs, their tax revenue did not offset the amount spent by government. The authors of the study stated that, "the general consensus is that unauthorized immigrants impose a net cost on state and local budgets. However, no agreement exists as to the size of, or even the best way of measuring, that cost at a national level."

    In education, which the study notes is the largest single expenditure in state and local budgets, multiple states reported 20 to 40 percent higher costs educating non-English speaking students, many of whom come from the homes of undocumented immigrant parents. Using New Mexico statistics from 2004 as a model, education spending on undocumented immigrants comprised $67 million of the state's $3 billion education budget.

    The study estimates there are 53.3 million school-age children in the U.S., 2 million of whom are undocumented immigrants and another 3 million who are legal citizens, but whose parents are not.

    Undocumented immigrants are more likely to access emergency rooms and urgent care facilities because most do not have health care, the study said. In Arizona and other border areas, states paid nearly $190 million in health care costs for undocumented immigrants in 2000, the study reported. The amount, which the study says likely has risen since then, represented one-quarter of all uncompensated health care costs in those states that year.

    While the report found that undocumented immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than American natives, it said states still bear a large cost for the legal process. Based on a report from the U.S./Mexico Border Counties Coalition from 2001, counties from the four states that border Mexico spent more than $108 million on law enforcement activities involving undocumented immigrants. San Diego County in California spent nearly half of that, with more than $50 million going into law enforcement activities involving undocumented immigrants.

    For more: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=8711.

    Read more: Congressional study shows illegal immigrants sap tax dollars – Phoenix Business Journal:

    April 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jackie

    It's so funny how people comment about Latinos squeezing the government for healthcare and education. I stopped by what I mistakenly believed was the social security department, but actually was the place where one can apply for foodstamps. I expected to see low life hispanics like all the comments I always read suggest. Instead when I looked around I saw many white and black people, and no hispanics!! hmmm, imagine that! Stop blaming hispanics for ruining your lives. If that's the truth it means you're the one that's the real low life, and even if illegal immigrants weren't here you'd find another reason you couldn't get ahead.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mark_mira

    Read history, who are real Americans? Indians and Mexicans were here thousand years
    before you idiot white people in AZ. Go Home!! Let the real Americans live in peace.
    Go back to Europe. Read History!!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. cmack

    to mark_mira

    First of all Lets not start about Obama. He's a leftist liberal who is driving this country into the ground. This is about not white on non white but legal or not legal. If you play by the rules why should you tolerate someone who does not. To quote the article above "if someone comes to your house uninvited do you not have the right to tell them to go home".

    April 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Just Wondering

    Now if your an Illegal alien you are a walking invitation to be Robbed, Assaulted, Raped or anything else some criminal wants to do to you, because they know if a crime is reported by an Illegal immigrant there gonna be sent back. Now the saying should be "and Justice for some" not justice for all. Now justice trully is blind

    April 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
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