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. Browndude

    @DAVE you are a MORON. Or wait... that was offensive... you are WHITE! How you can you sit there on your most likely FAT WHITE BUTT and say with such conviction as if you were quoting from the Bible that, and i quote :¨No Police officer is going to stop or question a person based solely upon what they look like¨. To that i say OMG... i stop reading after comment two hundred something but didnt notice a black fellow commenting on this law. You Dave, are surely NOT black or hispanic or arabic which are the current trendy people to hate in this great country we call the united states. We DO get stopped all the time for no reason! We DO get asked what were doing driving in a good neighborhood at ten at night! Black people get stopped ALL the time just because they MIGHT look like someone the police is looking for. Spare me you small minded AMERICAN. Every single one of us is an INMIGRANT, unless youre native american, you came here from somewhere and wait for it, YESSSSS ilegall on a boat from ITALY, or easter european countries! The fact that there wasnt enough resourses to kick your gramps and grannies out back then doesnt mean youre any different then the MEXICANS. Ignorants make up most of the people in this country, and that is sad. No you wouldnt work picking strawberrys... no they dont get free healthcare you dimwits they pay cash because they live with twenty other families in one house.Yes they pay taxes because they get a special card from the IRS with which they pay taxes EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE ILLEGAL. OH SHOOT, WAS THAT A SHOCKER TO MOST? The IRS ALWAYS gets theirs...trust me! Just ask Hollywood actors and actresses! Dont be ridiculousss wee need these people! Solution to problem: Give the ones here legality, KICK the criminals out, deport the ones from the jails too thats a waste of money, and make it easier to ACTUALLY get here legally, just make it be ten thousand dollars a person, THEY WILL COME UP WITH IT! Right now its impossible! If you fine the inmigrants that are undocumented here, five grand a piece, oh boy WOULD they pay it, YESSS in a heartbeat! That would be almost 2.5 billion dollars! Even more most likely! Use your head.. and your heart! Arent we all Christians?
    Yes im brown and i would be pulled over, just cause im brown. Whooptie due.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Q

    I don't think anyone disagrees that illegal status should be handled accordingly and I sympathize with AZ trying to do something about the issue in the face of the apparent apathy at the federal congressional level. My two concerns are first, the vague "reasonable suspicion" language and second, opening the door to lawsuits against local law enforcement when someone (inevitably) feels they aren't responding strongly enough. With all due respect to police officers, the lack of clear guidance is inviting an institutionalized system which will undoubtedly violate the civil rights of legal residents. Law enforcement will be trapped between defending themselves from both legal residents stopped for "reasonable suspicion" of being illegal and from angry citizens who feel they aren't arresting enough illegals.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    Gus, try spelling before calling me an idiot. Because you believe something that is just your interpretation of facts, that doesn't make the rest of the world idiots. The rest of America and I knows what the treaty of hidalgo guadalupe is and how it came to be. As for the ORIGIN of Mexicans, The earliest inhabitants of Mexico are believed to have been hunters who migrated from Asia approximately 18,000 years ago But since Cortez, most Mexican Americans are descended from the Indigenous peoples of Mexico and European. Primarily Spaniards, hence, Hispanic. That may bother you but I can't help you there. I know this because my step father, Miguel Valdez Rivera, born in Mexico, and my college professors all said so. Goof ball....

    April 29, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. Eric from Florida

    The MLK thing had nothing to do with racism.. If you Libs would read a little more and stop watching the main stream media so much, you would know. It was about holidays..
    The people of Arizona did not want their government workers to have another paid holiday. There was already Washington and Lincoln's birthday in that month... Then later the libs (Federal government) decided that Martin Luther King jr was more important than these men so they combined those two presidents to make "Presidents" day and make MLK a Federal holiday.. Then Arizona finally capitulated.. Same amount of holidays.. A slap in the face to Washington and Lincoln...

    April 29, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. derfin

    i like the people who are angry that hispanics from various places put up their little flags and "hold allegiance" to another country. i guess these people don't celebrate their own heritage or holidays like st. patrick's day. legalize it. i'm out.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mom in PHX

    I am married to a family of immigrants. My husband came here on a green-card, his father and his mother came here on permanent resident green cards at the same time. All three of them went through the lengthy process to become citizens here. His parents paid taxes, worked and retired here and died here. ALL LEGALLY. I have no respect for those that won't do the same.

    As far as the trouble illegals cause, I've experienced it first hand. My car was re-ended on the highway, both myself and then two-year-old son were hurt. Guess what, three toddlers got out of the car, and were moved into another car before the police showed up (NO car seats). No car registration, no insurance, no drivers license good in this country, no legal means of entering the country either. 10 will get you 1 if you can guess who paid the bill to fix my car, and the medical treatment: my car insurance and I did!!

    They broke the laws, not me. They hit me at over 60 mph. What did they get? Maybe a deportation back to Mexico, and I bet they were back within a week, if that even happened. What did I get? Months of chiropractor visits (paid out of pocket), larger insurance bills (paid out of pocket), a child who had x-rays (medical insurance paid that with a lien on any non-existent lawsuit money), no car for a week during repairs (repairs paid by insurance co., paid by me), and for safety reasons I had to buy a new car seat for my child.

    I did nothing wrong besides being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I personally had to literally pay the price for their law breaking. A high price in $$ and pain.

    I lost any respect I had for illegals, no matter where they are from. If they want to come here, then do it legally and obey the laws.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. hueygunner

    Let any homeless person go into any national park, set up a camp, start homesteading and see how quickly the Federal government evicts you. The homeless person is just trying to improve his lot in life and to get ahead. He's not hurting anybody.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel Miller

    Moose, quick question....CAN YOU SEE RUSSIA FROM YOU HOUSE???

    April 29, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sign me up

    I'll vote for anything that stops illegals from sucking our county dry. As an unemployed American I can't get S*&t, Unemployment pays too much so I can't get food stamps or health care. So I starve and can't go to the doctor or buy my needed medications. But you can damn well believe an illegal alien can get FREE healthcare, Free food, FREE everything and if they pump out a few anchor babies they have just hit the USA jackpot. I owe taxes I can't pay, but why pay when they just support illegals. This county is Fu**ed up.

    When will it STOP? I'm moving to Arizona.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alex

    How would you like risking a trip to jail every time you happen to leave your license at home? Also a school ID isn't proof of legal residence since illegals can attend public schools, how many High Schools students do you know that don't have a permit or a non-driver ID...I know a few. How would you feel if you have to pick up your son or daughter at the local jail for the third time this week because his walk to school goes through an area where illegals try and get picked up for work? As a Hispanic (in this country legally) How can I feel comfortable in a place where I can be stopped, anywhere at anytime...just for being Hispanic? But then again that is the point isn't it, you all dance around it but most of you refuse to look inside yourselves and see the truth...you don't want us there, legally or illegally. The rest of us see it though regardless of how you try and twist it, it looks like youll be having your wish though..by the way good luck with that 2011 MLB Allstar game, if you think that will happen now.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    Daniel Miller you are very wrong the Constitution does not apply to all persons. The words citizens is littered throughout the constitution b/c that is who it applies to. Look up at my previous post if you can and then you can read the 14th Amendment section you people keep incorrectly referencing.
    John T, you are also very wrong. Again look up to my previous post and see why you are wrong and click on the link and read the dang bill. It is so obvious that you people are too lazy to spend the 30 minutes it takes to read the document, yet you have no problems discussing it. The bill is not much different than any other ICE law in this country. They can not pull someone aside for being hispanic, that is a lawsuit they will lose every time and since the bill has a clause that states the locality or state will flip the bill, AZ will not be doing that. You are caught up on the top of page 2 of a 17 page bill and haven't read what reasonable suspicion is, which includes traffic infractions, known membership in a gang, being detained under criminal investigation, being seen committing a crime etc. You are just like all the news media that are spewing off without reading the bill.
    ICE laws exists in the liberal holy land of California and yet you people act as if they are brand new. They are in practice in 68 localities in this nation, and with very few exceptions, have worked exactly as intended.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    Actually, the law in Arizona USED to be that a cop would only check for legal status if there was already a stop being made, either during a criminal investigation or simple traffic stop. The new law says that they must stop people if they suspect them of being illegal even if they aren't doing anything wrong – just based on what the cop sees when he/she looks at an individual AND citizens can sue any police officer that they feel isn't following this law completely.

    Separate topic: look at all the anger and hatred on this comments page. This isn't the same country I grew up in. It's sad.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sarah

    Again, people, download a copy of the law and read it. It is verbatim from federal law AND police officers have to undergo mandatory training on what is "reasonable suspicion" vs. "racial profiling". It's not up their own discretion. Now, this training may not be perfect logic but a good portion of Phoenix PD are Hispanic or Mexican Americans as well so why is everyone assuming people will only be profiled because they are brown? Many ethnicities have "brown skin" and some people from Mexico look more Spanish and light. So my point being, stop the ignorance.. Arizona has never been racist, we were never part of the confederacy, and we are not in anyway trying to oust ourselves in this manner. It's called protecting yourself.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Keith

    I have 3 words for you all SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO. He has been enforcing this same law for over 3 years now with NOT 1 conviction of racial profiling. To many LEFT WING nuts out there yelling before the law is even in enforced. Sheriff Joe you are my Arizona hero.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    I am so glad to see the up roar all these ILLEGALS are bringing to to the entire USA. Seems most true legal Americans love our new law. So what you have done is make our country unite on the ILLEGAL issue. Thank you

    April 29, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
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