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. G

    ummm....So how do you determine who's illegal if you aren't looking at their skin? Also, will there be lawsuits from legals who get detained because they can't pony up papers?

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    Thank you Mark D, and Mike.

    Diego,
    Actually I wasn't trying to insult you at all. I just find your comments so uninformed and lacking in actual fact or substance that I find it hard to believe you where in the military. When I served I didn't serve with anyone who would have carried on as you do while being so completely wrong. Plus, I wonder where you live. I live in Phoenix and have first hand experience with much of this. My Step Father was born in Mexico and naturalized in the 50's. I have lots of Mexican step relatives and I know the whole story inside and out. So I know what I am talking about.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Russ

    What part of legal and illegal do people not understand. Has this country become this stupid

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    ILLEGAL is the key word here. It applies to people from Canada, France, Britain, Russia, Australia, etc. Doesn't really matter if these people are caucasian or not. What? That's right folks, there are LEGAL British, Canadian, and French citizens that are of HISPANIC descent, of AFRICAN descent, of CAUCASIAN decent, etc.(Didn't think about that huh?) If they have a work or temporary visa that expires and they stay...they are here ILLEGALLY. While they may fit whatever racial profile you have in your head, it doesn't matter. They are from another COUNTRY and they are here ILLEGALLY. Take race out the the issue and put COUNTRY OF ORIGIN in. I am a white male born in the United States. I can't LEGALLY go to England or any other country and get a job. If I did, I had to PROVE (with a lot of documentation and references) that I can do a particular job better than anyone else in Great Britain. Same thing in Australia, Canada, Russia, Brazil and yes...even MEXICO. I know this because I looked into a job at a printing company in Mexico once. They flat out ASKED me if I was caucasian....and told me not to bother. I have friends from other countries and they work HARD to stay here and live. They pay legal fees for paperwork, pay taxes. visit the immigration offices in Memphis and sometimes as far as Miami to prove they are HERE LEGALLY and WORKING LEGALLY. It's a hassle, but I don't think any of them regret it. Some of them are even, wait for it....CITIZENS now!!!! I met a guy from LA who was a well paid (and amazing) cabinet maker. He lost his job and moved East because of all the cheap, Illegal labor back home. I know what you're thinking...."He wouldn't be making the point if it wasn't a white guy." Wrong. He was a 5th generation AMERICAN CITIZEN....I won't tell you what color his skin was because it's 2010 and it JUST DOESN'T MATTER. LEGAL is not a race it is a privilege. Oh, and Im a Democrat and I voted for Obama.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rafael

    The problem with this is not the fact that Ilegals are going to get punished and be sent back home to mexico. The problem is that If I'm traveling with my wife and kids through the state of Arizona any law enforcement agency in ths state can stop me and Pull me over just because Iam brown to see if I might be Ilegal. Would that happen if I was white, asian or black? Racial Discrimination of US Citizens of Hispanic Decent. I serve In the US Navy for 13 years, Born in Texas serving in California so I have to travel through Arizona when I go home after along Deployment to come home and pulled over by a cop because I fit a discription of an Illegal. We WILL HAVE ISSUES!!

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cyrus Jones

    Race Baiting? Ain't this whole deal in Arizona all about race baiting? When people hold up the consitution to say that all men are created equal, I say that's a load of bull because when it was written the very people who wrote it didn't intend for it to include SPECIFIC people who lived right there under their very noses...

    Whites are afraid of non-whites... that is and has always been the case.. Put a black man on a train next to a white woman and purses get shifted to the other side.. people all of a sudden prefer to stand.. A hispanic walks into a store and white clerks get ready for battle.. Profiling happens every single day by every single one of you... Police do it.. Politicians do it.. Managers at Taco Bell even do it.. Don't point fingers at me for calling the kettle black.. You all who are against this bill are the kettles...but I'm the only one here who's black!

    Where I stand on this is that Americans need to get off their high horses and get with the program. Police can stop anyone they want and question them. That's the way it's been for my people since we were delivered to our masters.. It's about time everyone felt the pain that I've carried all my life. I'm 64 and have seen it all.

    People here illegally need to get out.. Police need to be given the tools to allow this to happen... Don't use the consitution to defend why this law is bad because the constitution is written by men who don't believe what people are supposed to believe today.. All men created equal... my ass..

    -Cyrus Jones

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sue

    Illegal is illegal, you have no rights for breaking the law. The constitution does not apply to illegals. breaking the law is breaking the law. You don't get rewarded or are entitled to anything.. We wouldn't get the same treatment in any other country. we don't owe illegals anything. Follow the law and come here legally or don't come period. The new law in Arizona is not discriminating againgst anyone, it is purely enforcing illegal activity and should have been maintained all these years.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Diego

    Mike:

    You wrote: Asking for ID doesn't violate the 4th Amendment protection to search and seizure. You may be unware of this but many states have laws that require a person to present identification to a police officer if in a public location,

    ____________________

    You can only be asked for ID if there is a "reasonable suspicion" that you have done something illegal. A police officer may not walk up to you and ask for ID for no reason. It is an "illegal seizure" meaning that you are being detained without reasonable cause. There is no way around it – it's unconstitutional.

    And people on here act like by opposing this law you somehow support illegal immigration. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. I am supporting the right for all citizens to be unharrassed in public and their right to be free from being detained for no reason.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Jeff your comments on the Constitution prove you don't grasp the Constitution. You keep leaving out the first part of the 14th Amendment that states it applies to Citizens, and you also don't seem to grasp what due process of law is. AZ police won't be able to grab a guy and drag him across the border. The law states that if legal status can't be proven then the person is reported for deportation. First the Police don't do the deportation, second they won't be stopping anyone for looks alone, 3rd their due process is to have an ID card, SS number, birth certificate or any other item that proves legal status (that is the very definition of due process). Also the 4th Amendment, you have that way wrong as well. First off asking for ID is neither a search nor a seizure and then even if it was you are leaving out the notions of plain view, probable cause. You also have no expectation to privacy in a public setting. And then there is the REAL ticker that you people keep leaving out. The 4th Amendment applies to CRIMINAL law NOT CIVIL law which is where immigration falls into.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. opus512

    Immigration is a federal issue. It is not a state issue. States have zero authority to enforce federal law. This is not a political or ideological issue, it is a legal constitutional issue. THAT IS THE LAW! You want something done, change the Constitution so that states can enforce federal immigration law. Tea baggers like to claim they're constructionists or textualists, no, they are not. They read the Constitution to support their argument no matter what it is. Bottom line is that states have ZERO authority to enforce federal laws. ZERO.

    And no one has yet to explain to me how cops will tell legal immigrants or even US citizens from illegal immigrants. You gonna stop the white guy? No, you're gonna stop the Latino. Tea baggers should be up in arms over the government forcing people to carry ID papers and infringing on their civil rights and unreasonable searches, but no, because they don't like something they simply ignore the blatant hypocrisy.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. D.E.K.

    This whole debate would be unnecessary had the laws regarding EMPLOYING illegal immigrants ever been enforced, and business owners and private citizens were actually sent to jail instead of being slapped with weak fines.Want to stop illegal immigration? Easy – stop providing a reason for risking life and limb to cross the border.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Des de Texas

    concerned, it appears that you've been fooled by the fear-mongering La Raza and LULAC crowd. No one is going to pull you over because you're brown. Have you seen the border patrol agents and a large percentage of Arizona LEO's? ALSO BROWN! I'm glad I get to serve with your husband.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gus

    So much hatred, is this everyone's idea of a great contry? America is for Americans here legally? First of all America is a continent not a country. We live in the United States OF America. See U.S. Army, U.S.M.C. etc, not the American Army. Even the Presidential seal says President of the United States. My passport says that I am a citizen of the U.S.not America! OK, enough of that nonsense.

    All of you that keep telling the "Mexicans" to go back home. Well, actually they are home. Most of the country West of the Mississippi River was Mexico until some "White" man decided it was the "Whites" best interest to take over more land. Can't include black folks in this, they had no say. They were just property. Would we allow this to happen now?Hitler tried it and was stopped, Saddam did it and was stoppped. You get my point, but now the majority of complainers are white and are VERY proud of this takeover. Don't even get me started about the original native north american citizens. There were no borders, no check points. For the most part, they were somewhat welcomed. How did the Europeans repay them, TOTAL destruction. Maybe that is what is really at the bottom of all of this. You don't want the same thing done to you that you the "White European" did to the original Americans.

    Yes there are big issues with the Immigration laws, but don't make assumptions. I see some people say that Mexicans hate the U.S. because they wave a Mexican flag. Again back to history, something easy this time. The movie " The Godfather part 2" has a pretty accurate account of new Immigrant Italians. They did not have papers, they were just given a stamp WOP, without papers. They turned their neighborhoods into little Italy and diplayed Italian flags, primarily spoke Italian. As time goes on, what happens? Their anchor babies or first born U.S. kids started to grow up "American" and became an integral part of this nation. Nobody complains about them anymore. Assimilation does not take long, one maybe two generations and they will not know very much spanish. I know plenty of the 2nd or 3rd generation hispanics that know less spanish than me.

    If for some reaason you can look beyond your hate, Try to look at the fact that using up resources from the Government is not just because of Illegals. I have seen black and white people pay with food stamps, drive off in a late model car, all tricked out and have multiple kids with different men. No problem with that since they are citizens? Illegals may not pay taxes to your liking but they do pay. They use primarily cash, so the Sales tax is covered. All of big business wants that disposible cash. When they pay rent, most do not have federal funding like some idiot said. Doesn't the landlord use soem of that for property taxes? OK, enough of my rant, I am just asking that you do not let hatred cloud your mind, and may God Bless you.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ME

    mexicans have turned me into a Racist, due to thier racist actions towards my country and me!!!!!!! mexicans are just as creative as their food!!!!! corn or flour.........

    April 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CB Texas

    Hooray for Arizona and hope the illegal enforcement is successful. Hoping that Texas will soon follow suit and deport Mexican Illegals who have ravaged our neighborhoods and social system.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
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