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. Dana

    It's about time a border state takes over its own state's immigration laws and gives the "misguided" liberals in D.C. the middle finger. All that's needed now is for TX, NM and CA to have the guts to do the same.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    Its a funny old game here... You complain that the illegals are taking our jobs but I can't find any doing my job or any of my friends jobs. What I do find is that they are picking the veggies, fruits and doing the migrant work that none of us will do. Farmers could raise the working wage to minimum wage and hire us citizens but first off we just won't do the work, its degrading and way to hard, secondly where do you go to sign up for these jobs(at the Home Depot, Lowes, etc. thats just too demeaning as well to stand out front to get picked), thirdly now your are going to moan that the cost of produce has just sky rocketed and you aren't going to pay the price and now the next thing that happens the grocery stores import the goods from other countries and the American farmers are now out of work... While you still end up buying the produce of those illegals... Way to think it through. There are better ways to come up with a solution instead of the posturing by a bunch buffoons that just want to be noticed, the Tea Baggers don't even understand the meaning of their own name and in my line of work we call what they do spreading FUD(fear, uncertainty and doubt).

    April 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ross

    MOOSE – shut the #### up already. Open that six pack, sit in that lounge chair, watch reruns of all in the family and pass gas!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tim Buckley

    These tea partiers are making more sense all the time....... Wow I cant believe I just said that.

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

    This is no different from stopping cars containing black people because that very fact constitutes reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is taking place. It's racist and un-Constitutional, not that conservatives care about the Constitution except when it suits them.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Drew

    To a degree I can empathize with the concerns of these guys in regards to illegal immigration. But frankly, I don't see how racial profiling of legal immigrants and US citizens can be avoided if I"m understanding the details of this new law correctly.

    As I understand it, police officers are now REQUIRED to stop and question anyone they "reasonably suspect" may be an illegal immigrant, even if it is solely for that purpose.

    I guess I'd like to know how any police officer might "reasonably suspect" that a guy walking down the street is an undocumented illegal if race ISN'T the primary 'suspicion raiser."

    If they catch him swimming th Rio Grande or packed in a van coming over the border, OK, I'd say that's reasonable. But Arizona already had laws covering those kinds of incidents. What will they be looking for now? Special kind of shoes? Particular styles of hat? What? ?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mark_mira

    Hey Mike Bailey, the attention span of most white people in AZ is about one minute. Please don't hit them with those facts about Reagan. That will just make them upset and turn on FoxNews for comfort and pure hate and racisim the truly love. I bet seeing their
    hero Sarah Palin with John McCain who also wants to do what Reagan did totally confused the AZ Tea Party. LOL

    April 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Go Hawks

    Ok, so lots of people are complaining about how this bill will foster racial profiling, and I understand the reasons for that. A question I have: is racial profiling ALWAYS a bad thing? The vast vast majority of illegal immigrants are mexican, therefore, it would MAKE SENSE to check mexicans most of the time for proof of citizenship. Not 100% of the time because there are illegals from all around the world, but most of the time sounds like a good idea to me. Yeah, that might suck for legal hispanic people in the united states, but how can you deny my logic? When the majority of illegals are mexicans, the majority of the people checked should be mexican. Sounds like it freaking makes sense.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cyrus Jones

    Who do you think police are going to target? People who LOOK like they're here illegally... Who LOOKS like they're here illegally? White people? no... this will fall on the shoulders of our hispanic brothers and others who don't LOOK like they belong in this country.. My African brothers have endured this abuse since the days of our emancipation.. It's both insulting and funny at the same time that only now is it NOT OK to base police action on a specific ethincity.. Police have and always will target based on what they SEE... they have no other tools at their disposal.. They see three men kicking cans in front of Home Depot .. ones white, one's hispanic, one is black.. Who's going to be asked if they're here legally and who is going to be asked if they stole the chicken from the pen.?

    Arizonians should be ashamed of themselves..
    Cyrus T. Jones

    April 28, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jim atmadison

    Without profiling, AZ cops will be hauling Lee and his buddies in any time they're caught out and aren't carrying their birth certificates. And the governor says there won't be profiling. Have fun in jail, Lee.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Keith, Dallas, TX

    pass this on...

    IS Cheap Produce Really a good trade-off for what this California Teacher Describes ?

    Cheap Tomatoes


    This English teacher has phrased it the best I've seen yet.
    Tomatoes and Cheap Labor

    This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent.

    >From a California school teacher – – –

    "As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:

    I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels.

    Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens , Huntington Park , etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools.

    Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and a roll - but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten.

    I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.

    I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing
    funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America ...

    I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students, here in the country less than 3 months, who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas"(whores) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears.

    Free medical, free education, free food, free day care etc., etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

    To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.

    Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes.

    Americans, We need to wake up.

    It does, however, have everything to do with culture: It involves an American third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about "political correctness" that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

    If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know.

    CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?

    Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.

    Consumers don't want expensive produce.

    Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.

    But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."

    Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.

    He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.

    He qualifies for food stamps.

    He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.

    His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school.

    He requires bilingual teachers and books.

    He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

    If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. If qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicaid. All of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense.

    He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

    Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.

    He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.

    Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6..00/hour left after paying their bills and his.

    Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!


    Please pass this on to as many as possible. Immigration legislation is to be considered in 2010. This is important to working Americans, our economy and our American culture and heritage..

    April 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Skull

    So being illegal means you have no rights? Guys illegals doalmost everything americans dont pick fruit from fiels, work lowpaying jobs people like you wouldnt so all because there and want money for their family, and you guys probably make more than them and think your better than them right? Well their also humans so think about how you would feel if your were them.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Drew

    "is racial profiling ALWAYS a bad thing? "

    Simple answer: yes. Plus Gov. Brewer has assured the citizenry race will not be used as a basis for questioning.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Victor

    All you racist little nazis make me laugh. Most of you are just poor uneducated bastards who use immigrants as scapegoats to justify your miserable existence. Antiimmigrant sentiments among the little nazi rednecks is nothing new. A new class of immigrants like myself are becoming highly educated and continuously gaining more political power. We'll help our own move up and hold positions of power and influence. However, you little nazi rednecks will never have the support of the white elite, for them you are just scum. Arizona's redneck law will soon be overturned by the Supreme Court, but your image will be permanenetly stained. Maybe all the racist little nazi rednecks can all move to Arizona and form your own little hideout down there.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. runswithbeer

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
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