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. JHo

    I think it would be fun if we "sold" illegal immigrants back to their home countries. If you get caught here illegally, you go to jail for life unless your home country (Mexico) buys you back for $10,000. That way we make money, and Mexico has some incentive to prevent illegal immigration! And if they DON'T buy their people back, then I'd be willing to bet there would be a lot of pretty pissed mexicans voting for politicians who WOULD buy people back since it's their family members being imprisoned. And we could make the prisoners do labor so we get something out of it anyway.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Maybe we should all start wearing tea bags on our lapels to identify ourselves as real americans.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matt

    I'm a legal immigrant and I'll proudly show anyone my immigration papers if asked!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kat

    oops..*constitution...sorry about typo...it's getting late and Im tired of trying to be reasonable with unreasonable people on here.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Stanley

    Wrong... The constitution guarantees rights to any and all persons in American territory or custody...

    Read a book...

    April 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Just Wondering

    A drivers license is not proof of citizenship only a birth certificate that is certified would be proof but how does a Law enforcement offical going to be able to determine a true birth certificate as apposed to a fake one? since every state's version is different basically if your brown your on the ground hand cuffed

    April 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John grambie

    Mark your propaganda comments of fear don't help your argument. The taxpayers of Arizona have decided in a clear majority from all major polls and through their elected officials that they are no longer interested in paying through their taxes for illegal immigrants including health care, jail costs, and other social programs. One report in the NY Times put the health care costs of illegal immigrants and jail costs totally more than 600 million dollars a year. There are legal ways to enter the country and these should be entertained first. People shouldn't have to work in this economy to pay for those that are breaking the law.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. NoIllegalAllowed

    The U.S. constitutional right laws were created for her citizens, not for the illegals. If the are here illegally, they have committed a crime and thus must be put in jail and deposed. Don't kiss up.

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

    How much did the US pay Mexico for the land they took?
    The total sum was of USD$15 million. Translated to today's money, that was a sum equivalent to USD$376 billion (43% of today's Mexican National Income, valued at USD$866.3 billion).

    And the Spanish (who had relations with the natives thus infusing their blood into the populace) arrived long before the blonde hair blue eyed white man. Native Americans and Mexicans are not the same thing just like Columbian and Mexican are different so give the land back to Mexicans? We paid you for it already. We have also paid the Native Americans to a degree, yeah they got screwed but I wasn't there and neither was anyone else in this chat, we played no part in it. Screw all the sins of the father crap

    April 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike Bailey

    Saint Ronnie Reagan granted amnesty to milliion s of illegal immigrants in the 1980s, even Caesaer Chavez of the Farm Workers Union held border vigils to stop illegal workers from entering the US in the 60s because they were taking jobs from his union workers, yet the farmers loved having the cheaper laborto pick the grapes and lettuce and other field crops. Illigam immigration has been a problem since I was a chuild in the 60s, there are many Mexican American families here that have been here for decades that now have legal and illegal roots, what do we do split up families? There has to be a way to find a path for these people to making them legal and getthe borders secured to stop future crossings, make illegal border crossing punisuhable by 5 years in prison and immediate deportation, whatever pentalty is necessary to stop it. Make pot legal and stop the drug traffiacking from Mexicomost of the drugs are pot, legalize and tax it, take the crooks out of it like they did booze with the repeal of prohibition. Increase taxes and stop the drug wars, money is the root of that evil, empty our prisons of people filling American jails and prisons for personal use amounts of pot. The drug war was a losing war from the beginning, stop cocaine, heroin, LSD etc stop the war on pot it would ease the courts, prisons and increase the tax base for almost all states.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mark_mira

    Hey Kat get the GOP to cut services and you can cut taxes. You can't have it both
    ways. You like to check some facts? You cut taxes, smaller gov..the GOP
    controlled the Gov for past 8 years and they borrowed and spent us all the
    way to the brink of depression. Then you complain that the Gov had to
    fix things. They screwed the whole world while on the way to their Greed
    party. Do you think Wall St and Banks are Democrats? LOL Keep watching
    FoxNews..they tell you good stories, but not the truth. I'm an American too,
    Vietnam Vet. I know what it's like to be called a baby killer. Thanks.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    Why blame the fed.now Bush had 8 years and nothing happened.How is Obama being blamed now? Tea party idiots are being funded by big business but they are too stupid to realize it.I am 66 years old and a 20 year vet. and I am ashamed that there is so much hate being radiating from the bottom dwellers.Why didnt the tea baggers attack Bush ? He raped this country and pillaged a treasury surplus.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Diego


    You wrote: "The only part that is in dispute re: constitutionality is whether Arizona can decide to enforce federal law. The rest of it is lifted pretty much straight out of federal laws that have existed in some cases for 60 years, and have already been challenged for constitutionality, and found to be constitutional."

    First, Arizona does not have to "decide to enforce Federal Law". There is no question that any State government has the authority to make arrests for violations of Federal law. Each state falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal government.

    Secondly, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. The amendment specifically also requires search and arrest warrants be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

    The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches, but not every government action to obtain information is a "search." A search occurs only when 1) a person expects privacy in the thing searched and 2) society believes that expectation is reasonable. I think a reasonable person would agree that "searches" are what this AZ law allows.

    It has been argued successfully in the US Supreme Court that the government may not detain an individual even momentarily without reasonable and articulable suspicion.

    All US law is open to judicial interpretation – that is what the judicial branch of our government is tasked with. I apologize if you think I was insulting you. I was merely pointing out that words can be twisted to mean whatever you want. Again, this is why the law will not stand the scrutiny as it pertains to our Constitution.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Soporifix

    Note how this law works: the police - the regular police, not federal immigration agents - have the right to demand papers if they "have reason to suspect" that you might be illegal. If they "suspect" you and you're a citizen, you won't have any papers, will you? So that means they'll have to take you in and hold you in detention until one way or another you can prove that you're a citizen.

    Here's the result: see a Hispanic person? Might be illegal. Ask for papers. Hispanic citizens won't have them, and will end up in detention. It's a clear license for police to harass and detain any person - meaning, here, any Hispanic person, because they ain't stopping white people in Hawaiian shirts on suspicion of being illegal - without any but the flimsiest causes. It's pure racist intimidation even if this guy doesn't recognize that.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
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