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. Patricia

    Keith, the border wall has been built up and expanded, levels of security and Border Patrol officers along with technology such as infared scopes, lighting etc. were increased dramatically during the Clinton administration. That strategy has therefore been attempted and results show that it has not deterred illegal immigration. The root of the problem is not how dangerous we can make crossing the border because quite frankly the dangers will not deter someone from trying to enter. Those who are willing to cross in the most dangerous parts of a desert with a coyote or alone are not just doing it lightly. Their level of need and desperation to start a new life exceeds those dangers, and border militarization will not change that. Illegal immigration cannot be alleviated by a higher wall nor by this law in Arizona.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Charles

    In the context of Arizona, "illegal immigrant" is the functional equivalent of Mexican or Hispanic. For that reason alone it is unconstitutional.

    Unconstitutional does not necessarily mean immoral. The law is immoral because it is made out of hatred toward Hispanics. It was passed to make life miserable enough for Hispanics that they leave Arizona. The legislator himself admits that this was the goal.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rick

    Dear Law

    You should not speak so foolishly. If your comments were true, folks would be wanting to go to Mexico.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  4. Des de Texas

    Alex wrote:

    "Quick! Youre a cop..2 hispanics having a conversation next to a newsstand, which one is the illegal and which one has been in this country for 3 generations? Can you tell? neither can the cop..So what do you do? Ask them both for I.D of course."

    No, the cop is not going to ask them for ID unless they are robbing the newsstand. Standing next to a newsstand and having a conversation is not breaking the law. You, and about half the people on here who make similar comments need to know a little more about the law and less about what La Raza is telling you.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. Liz

    For all of you griping about having to carry i.d., stop being idiots. If you drive, drink or wish to pay or apply for anything, you have it with you already. And if you are in a foreign country, you should be carrying your i.d., as well.

    We have people for years who wait to honestly come to this country, who don't wish to be a strain on our resources. I find it amazing that we bend over backwards for people who break our laws to come here, then march our streets demanding that we show them respect even though they broke our laws. Our states struggle to provide them welfare, to house illegal criminals, and our schools struggle to provide quality education without tax money from any of these families, while providing free lunches, free supplies and additional teachers because they speak little or no english.

    I praise Arizona for taking this action. And sadly, were there not so many immigrants flooding our borders and draining our resources, racial profiling wouldn't be necessary. While I feel sorry for any law abiding citizen this happens to, the sad fact is that the illegals aren't flooding in from France, or from Japan. They are flooding in from Mexico.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kristina

    First of all we are mexicans............. As in we come from Mexico and thats keeping it simple for those of you who do not know the difference. Hispanics are from Europe.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. losario

    I am an immigrant but i came to this wonderful country through legal means. It is unfair for other peoples who are trying to come to this great country legally while these criminals enter through illegal means. Yes I call them criminals because coming here without any papers shows their disregard for American rule of law. A lot of them who come here commit heinous crimes, drug trafficking, get involved in gang activities. Most of the dangerous hispanic gangs are illegals. Just look at the prisons in America the majority are hispanics and african americans. We are rapidly becoming a third world country because politicians could not care less about this issue. The main reason Obama is against this immigration bill is because he promised all illegals amnesty so he could continue to get their votes. I believe he became president through illegal means. I would not be surprised if he is illegal himself. God bless Arizona for finally doing something about this issue. Illegals should be corraled and taken back to where they belong and that is not here.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |

    Hey, Bruce...its not the Constitution, dummy...its the Declaration Of Independence, its not unalienable rights its inalienable rights, and it is meant for LEGAL American citizens.Yes,all men are created equal.This is the only country where a few people can break the law and not stand the punishment because of other people that think like you!The only people that have a problem with this law are those who have something to hide, and those who support those who have something to hide!GET A LIFE IN MEXICO WITH YOUR ADOPTED PEOPLE!!!!

    April 29, 2010 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Caan

    For some reason everybody thinks from the illegal's point of view, more disturbing part of this is, it allows police to harass regular "legal" citizens based on their subjective perception of "reasonable suspicion"..

    April 29, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel Miller

    TammyB, you might have been a law student...but did you graduate or even take a Constitutional Law class? To reiterate, the Constitution applies to all people, citizens, non-citizens alike. This is basic.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. SO*AZ

    To "Law" apparently you've never seen the boys from AZ work. I'm all for LEGAL immigration but, if you want to get into whom can out work whom then I would say you are wrong. I've work along side your latino brothers and the truth is they need 12 guys on a framing crew to keep up with our 5 man crew....we would work you into the ground....that's how the desert boys work hard and fast....P.S. are you racist?

    April 29, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  12. AMC

    "Grow up. This law isn't about legal or illegal, like they say it is. Its about 'are you brown, or are you white?'" You speak the truth, John T. Those were the right words I was expecting brother. This law isn't about stopping illegal immigrants. It's about stopping Hispanic citizens. It's about stopping that person "who doesn't look right" to them. It's about stopping the wrong kind of person, just because he looks brown or black, yellow or red. Well, I think it's pure hypocrisy to fellow Americans who think they are so loyal to their country when they support this law and think it isn't going to be right when this law says it all.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Heidi Carter

    This evening I watched a FOX News spot that hosted a conservative Latina representative of the opposition to the bill and found her stance as a conservative a form of Orientalism and Gendered Discourse after listening to the debate for about 15 minutes. I do believe that if she expects to be taken seriously as a politician and as a woman in both Politics and as an American, she ought to be just as concerned about the erosion this issues causes for immigrants already LEGALLY living in the U.S. and then consider the relationship between what has occurred in Health Care and with Goldman Sachs, before someone trumps her vision of Democracy with a Christian Socialism Card.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. John T

    All of you that think this law is not racist... you're all morons. What makes a person suspicious in regards to this law? Think about it... The only thing the police can go by is skin color. How is that not racist? They are making a judgement based on color of skin. That by its very definition is racism. I can't believe you guys are so stupid. Go back to grade school, seriously.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mary T

    I am so sick of hearing about how the "illegals" are doing the jobs that no real American wants. BS! Here in northeastern PA they are working in all the manufacturing plants and factories in the area. Immigration is always raiding the meat packing plants and hauling a bunch of them away. Can you really tell me that factory jobs are the kind of jobs that Americans don't want to do.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
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