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.
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  1. Des de Texas

    Don, what was illegal about the people who came here from Europe 400 years ago? Can you tell me which native American law was violated or point me to a native American constitution that addresses this? Thanks!

    April 28, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robear in Ojai

    I wish the terms "RACE" and "RACIST" were taken out of this discussion.

    This has nothing to do with race. It is about culture, economics, nationality and sovereignty as a nation.

    I am Canadian-born and went through the legal channels and became a resident and then eventually a Citizen of the USA. It is my pride to contribute to this great nation. Moreover, in the 30 years I have been here, I have NEVER availed myself to ANY of the tax-supported free services, medical or otherwise, that are now being swamped by people who are here illegally. As a French-speaking Canadian, I also took upon myself to learn the American English language, so well in fact that I am now a published magazine writer here in the USA.

    Illegal workers and undocumented immigrants who come here for a "better life" only to send their paychecks back to Mexico to support la familia contribute nothing to this country. They are just draining the system. Immigrants who refuse to learn the country's official language are insulting their hosts and spitting in their faces. Re-creating the graffiti-ridden squalor of their gang and drug-infested barrios on American soil does not constitute a cultural contribution.

    As long as we insist on paying artificially low prices for everything we buy, there will be employers wanting to hire undocumented workers @ $3.00/hr to harvest or manufacture it for us; and consequently, there will be immigrants willing to cross the border illegally to get it.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Suzie M.

    Until this law is declared unconsitutional (and I have no doubt that it will be) I have joined the national movement to boycott Arizona and I live in a neighboring state. How about a new state motto? Racial profiling at its finest-that's Arizona! Do you think Arizonans can find a way to make it fit on their license plates? After all, most of the posters here are just so proud of their racism – may as well advertise it. Just make sure you have your brown shirt and black boots on when you do!

    April 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. KugzKav

    "making you feel vulenrable"

    I think this is what it really comes down to. In my experience, rural white people feel vulnerable or afraid of what they do not understand. I am white and I live in a rural area. I work daily with "illegals" and they are nothing like what many here think they are. They are decent folks with goodness in their hearts. They couldn't qualify for welfare even if they wanted to and they don't go around asking to be supported by our tax dollars. Their children are often the best behaved in schools and are a reflection of the priorities of their parents. None of them wanted to break the law and enter our country illegally, they just couldn't bare the fact of looking their children in the face and telling them that they had no money to buy food. This is why they are here; not to break our laws or abuse our system. They spend 80% of their money locally and pay taxes via something called an ITIN which employers can issue to workers with no SS#.

    Having said that: I realize that here in the midwest we have a different reality than AZ. There are different kinds of people crossing the border to settle in the SW than here in the Midwest. Here we have "illegals" from primarily agri-societies that are closely tied to the land and to their families. In AZ, there is probably a myriad of cultures, values and intentions that one can identify in the populations crossing the border. If AZ citizens have a huge problem with what is happening, then our federal government should support them, but it can be done without impeding on rights that we as Americans have held as principle since our ancestors first came to this country (as illegal immigrants themselves, mind you). We need action now. I just hope that people can remain realistic about what can and should be done. There must be a way to secure our border, determine who has behaved themselves and who can prove they are not a criminal (other than criminal by having entered the US w/o a VISA as I'm sure many of you reactionaries will cry), and satisfy both our needs for labor and security. The Midwest agricultural sector would collapse without this labor, and our small rural communities, as racist as some of us may be, can at least appreciate that.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Keith

    Where have all you morons been that don’t live in AZ? Our AZ sheriff department has been enforcing this same law that also mirrors the federal law for over 3 years now. Now it gives other local AZ authorities the same option instead of calling ICE to the rescue. So the new law becomes public and the 1/2 the country thinks Arizona is Racist? Now all the LEFT WING nuts are speaking up. That is so typical of the LEFT WING, always using the race card. That is so old and out played. Maybe now that our governor has got the attention of the white house just maybe Mr. NOBAMA will make plans to complete the wall along our boarder. With out the completion of the wall no law will matter. I recommend to all those who are yelling to read the new AZ law and then go read the federal law. Then you can voice your opinions on what Arizona should or shouldn’t do.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Opus you are actually very wrong about states having no rights to enforce immigration. You must be unware of the Immigration and Nationality Act, that has allowed ICE laws to be enacted in 70 jurisdictions in states ranging from CA to VA to MA.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WT

    I agree we need to do something about illegal immigration. I don't pretend to know exactly what that "something" is, but I can assure you it is not passing legislation that will lead to racial profile and harassment of people who are here legally. Where in this law does it define what constitutes "reasonable suspicion" that an officer of the law can act on to require proof of citizenship/residency status. Nowhere.

    If you believe that this law will have any impact on people who are here (in AZ) illegally from Canada or England, you are sadly mistaken. A U.S. born Arizonan of Mexican heritage will have a much higher liklihood of being detained.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ME

    If you think the war in Iraq & Afghanistan is costing us too much, read this:
    I hope the following 14 reasons are forwarded over and over again.

    1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.

    2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs, (food stamps), WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.

    3. $2.5 Billion a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.

    4. $12 Billion / yr. spent on primary and secondary education for children of Illegals.

    5. $17 Billion / yr. spent for education for the American-born anchor babies of illegals.

    6. $3 Million / DAY is spent to incarcerate illegals

    7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal..

    8. $90 Billion / year spent on illegals for Welfare & social services.

    9. $200 Billion / year in suppressed American wages are caused by illegal.

    10. Illegals have a crime rate two & a half times that of non-illegals. And children of Illegals dd to the crime problem.

    11. During the year of 2005 alone over 4 MILLION illegals crossed our Southern Border, as did nearly 20,00 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Additionally Millions of pounds of drugs including, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, entered the U.S.

    12. The National policy Institute, estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion. An average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a 5 year period.

    13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in to their home countries.

    14. 'The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One MILLION sex crimes committed by Illegals.

    The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. More than enough for a "Stimulus Package"

    Are we THAT stupid?

    NOTE: The above list originally included URL links verifying all of the above. If you want to know why they are omitted, you may wish to email Brent Jones, managing editor of USA Today @ accuracy@usatoday.com He’s the IGNORANUS who now prohibits the inclusion of URLs linked to conservative web sites. P.C. is alive & well @ USAT.
    And why are we NOT surprised?
    yup yup

    April 28, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dan

    Lol? Native American constitution?

    Well technically it was their land and we stole it. Just because they didn't have documentation for it doesn't mean we weren't on it. Furthermore, they mostly treated the settlers with generous hospitality, in return we steal their land.

    Oh, and we did a miserable job of it too. How did we have so much trouble trying to kill off a grossly outnumbered people and with far superior weapons.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    My God!!! after read all the comments, i just can,t believe that a Christian called country as USA,
    can think like that. Everething that is different, collor , race, language, habits, way of life, is a reason of hate to most of americans. Stop and think about what you guys did with the black people
    in the past. the simple fact of enter in a white people restaurant was illegal. Yes we have to enforce the law, but we have see before if this law is fair, human, not based in simple racism.
    To finish, i leave you guys who hated illegals a question: What they did to you that make your life
    worst that it was before? have you lost your job ? are you being affect in any way ?
    I know a lot of illegal alien, and i can tell you that they are hard working people, seeking a better way of life, with strong family values. May God have mercy of your hatred souls. and remember,
    we are all brothers in God.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sarah

    I am a native of Phoenix, and lived in Tucson, Arizona for 5 years as well. My issue will illegal immigration are not the people who are contributing and paying..but those who don't. I am a 24 year old college student and have a limited income, yet I am paying for other people who utilize the educational services and medical services we citizens pay for. I would like to go to an ER and not have to wait half a day due to overflow.

    I lived in a city very close to the border that exhibited high levels of crime, violence, and at my place of employment I often encountered people who spoke NO English, at all. I have read the bill and most of it is regarding employers not being able to hire illegal immigrants..well no duh. I also think other people should read it as well before making final judgments or being irrational. For me, and my family who have been in Arizona for years and years, it saddens me to see what the state is turning into, and something needs to be done. Perhaps there is a better way to go about it but I think President Obama needs stop golfing and stop complaining, and instead provide a better solution.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. derfin

    hey des de texas. the natives didn't have separation of church and state, so religion was their law. their law was that no one owned the land in the first place. there were no borders, just places where people lived sometimes. so the europeans pretty much broke that law, plus the ones about raping, pillaging and enslaving. and oath breaking to boot.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cyrus Jones

    I am just waiting to hear an illegal claim they were brought here against their will and therefore are due compensation, because it ain't going to happen...My people were promised 40 acres and a mule and the Native Americans were given land only to see it taken away and made smaller and smaller as the white people needed more "elbow room".. If Illegals start saying they were brought here against their will and so now deserve the same rights afforded to my people who were given fewer rights that a tabby cat at a dog convention when we were forced from our homes and brought here in chains, then there will be protests in the streets... I myself will be mobilized..

    Injustice to one is an injustice to all.. My injustice now becomes your injustice... We all need to live by the same rules that police can stop anyone.. not just blacks...

    -Cyrus Jones

    April 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom L

    When an illegal comes into the country regardless of what border they are crossing they are breaking the law. Part of being a good American is being a law abiding citizen and agreeing to abide by the laws we have all mutually agreed to, a social contract if you will. You cannot be a good citizen or love this country if you go and break the law. There is nothing unjust or evil about having an immigration policy, its supposed to prevent things like human trafficking, spread of disease and account for who comes in and out of this country. Instead you have some people who decide they cannot or should not be inconvienced by the law. Then they go to the street and protest waiving flags of another country in ours, some love for the USA. Its not like a Saint Patricks day parade where the Irish Flag is marched along side the American Flag out respect.

    Economically speaking illegals do not contribute to Social Security and Taxes. However they get all the same benifits of the system that a legal citizen would without contributing. Lacking their legal status, Social Security Cards they cannot easily get credit or insurance, so an illegal has a higher chance of defaulting on debt. Where as a legal citizen has easier access to credit and insurance because they don't have to hide the fact they are here illegally.

    But I will offer some solutions as opposed to just complaining.

    1. Military Service For Citizenship: You love this country and want to be here? Defend it. Serve an 8 year hitch and your in. (A bit Draconian but let's see who really wants to be here.)

    2. Partial Amnesty (I like this better): No one who is already gets kicked out your in, you get your citizenship and you start paying your taxes and social security and you start by paying for last years taxes. Then once that is done you actually enforce the laws of the land on immigration, and you honor all those who came here before legally. Not just from over the border but all those who made the perilous journey to Ellis Island and forged their destiny here legally.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Keith

    Then when your done reading the new AZ and Federal law and see they mirror each other you can go back and drink your Obama cool aid.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
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