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. machine maker

    I carry my ID with me and have to show it several times each day, wether it is at a bank or if I am pulled over or if I use a credit card. I carry it all the time. The money we would save in taxes that pay for illigals would more than make up for the increase in the head of lettuce. An engineer can make a machine that can pick lettuce, or the wages for picking lettuce would go up and supply and demand would work as it should. If you don't want to pay that price for lettuce then they don't grow as many. I know that there are plewnty of legal immigrants that would take the jobs, or are you saying that as soon as an immigrant becomes legal they won't do that job anymore? They employers who employ the illigals should be prosocuted as well. I know legal immigrants and white people that work in hotels and restaurants. It is simply that it is CHEAPER to pay an illegal under the table below minimum wages because then their profit margin is higher. Then that same illegal can go get food stamps and welfare and free medical care while the legal immigrant can't because they have income because they aren't paid under the table. If you truly don't want illegals here then don't use businesses that you know employ them and don't go pick some up when you need a ditch dug or your yard landscaped. I have no problem with legal immigration. You have to wonder why people would try and sneak in if they have no reason to be turned away legally. Here is a question, can't Mexico grow lettuce? Go plant some lettuce in Mexico or corn or whatever and sell it to the USA. Now your a businessman in Mexico! or wherever you came from.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. WTF

    Hate to break it to you but when you deport all the illegals, you will being paying $10.00 for your big mac. We can't afford to deport our cheap labor. They make work in the meat procesing plants and cook our foods. Considering our food safety is in their hands daily, we might not want to piss them off too bad!

    The reality is, and what the politicans won't address, it that its really the fault of the white employers as they create the opportunity for them, cheat the government from taxes and social security dollars (which we need for this leeching babyboomer generation), and who otherwise refuse to pay minimum wage. But its way easier to place blame on a Mexican.

    Considering we couldn't evacuate New Orleans or Houston during hurricane season, how in the world does anyone think we can deport all these people?

    April 29, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. manciamusic

    You guys are wrong!

    listen carefully: Viva AZ1070!
    this is a list of benefit we will get from AZ1070 law:

    1-The state will waste about 10 or 15 millions(that they don't have now)
    trying to defend the law at the FEd courts, the law will never survive the legal tsunami because it's clearly non-constitutional like others before.

    2-The state will not gain 100 to 125 millions (in one year) in economic transactions because the massive boycott from latinoamerica and cities in EU and Canada.(an maybe the superball too)

    3-Home land security department will block the arbitrary detentions of immigrants because
    will exceed the logistic capacity and legal procedures, courts will get over populated wasting tax payer's money that will never be covered by the 2500 fee that illegals have to pay

    4-take to the jail 6 month each immigrant will cost 25000 dollars each to AZ Gov
    because Home land security department have no budget to cover massive jailing and deportations, you will have to set them free! because ICE will take just the real criminals.

    If you think you are solving the illegal immigration problem:

    1-The new law will open and accelerate the immigration debate and will end in a massive legalization to solve the problem in Washington.

    2-Latino community was dispersed ...now they become united in a huge heavy Political
    block . (I'm talking about legal ones that can vote...)

    3-Young Latino vote raised 70% this year in UsA as result of the anti-inmigrant laws
    so you will have more latino vote every single year....and it will change the political
    distribution of power in EEUU

    4-YOU MAKE them more stronger!!!! can you see!

    just to refresh you memory:
    Hitler did hate jewish...now jewish own germany

    Rome did hate christians... now Christian own rome

    Americans did slave Blacks... now blacks own the presidency of united states

    Now: proud patriot americans like you blame illegal and legal inmigrants....
    but You don't know Fed Gov and bankers are planing to merge up , EEUU, Mexico and Canada in a Huge block with open borders...very soon. ( like EU)

    Thanks for make your job and make inmigrants a powerfull political block....
    you will never gain nothing from hate and be Non -tolerable person.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ruby

    "I still have not heard any detailed explanation of how the police are to develop a "reasonable suspicion" a person is in the US illegally. What basis do they use to determine a person is not a citizen or legal resident and therefore "reasonable suspicious? Unless they have some iron clad method for making this determination, then they are in danger of violating the rights of citizens."

    This is my exact concern. I absolutely support this law in theory, but how will it work in practice? I do not want to see Hispanic U.S. citizens and legal residents arrested simply because they cannot provide proof of their legality on the spot.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. bethany

    I say we pass a Law that requires dumb American's like Moose to go back to school, it's fools like this and others who are posting nothing but hateful and racist comments that makes it hard to support the law without sounding like a Nazi. You are an embarrassment to all Americans

    April 29, 2010 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Clme

    But when do we start to hold the companies that hire the illegals responsible for doing so?

    The Department of Homeland Security "E-Verify" system is extremely easy to use, and should be a required part of any emplacement screening process.
    Yes, that is a government program for identifying illegals BEFORE they are hired!

    Dry up the illegal hiring processes, and you eliminate half of the issue right off the bat.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    yes like there is such a thing as a book is based on where you come from are you an allie or do we already too many of you here therefore i will make your life miserable.
    You see the immigration system is nothing like what it used to be on ellis island or a signature of a book
    The immigration system is backed up that if put in a request for legalization it would take years on top of years in order to to even acknowledge that you are here. The main problem is the system that doesnt work

    April 29, 2010 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. American Guy

    Jayco Stamping Inc. Hires Illegals!

    April 29, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Zoid

    Just like the Gestapo. Let me see your papers. We are not talking about a drivers license. That does not prove citizenship. Only a passport or birth certificate can prove citizenship or a green card / visa can prove legal immigration status.

    This bill is going to have the opposite effect. In order for the police to do their job with some sort of order, they need the general populace in back of them. They need the eyes and ears of those living in the community to find the trouble makers. Now you have alienated at least half of the community since they will be the ones inconvenienced. It won't be the white folks that are pulled over.

    What it comes down to is anyone who looks Mexican, regardless of where you are from, can be stopped for no reason. I just can't wait for the Hispanic population to say enough is enough, register to vote and get rid of every State lawmaker that voted for this piece of garbage.

    Boycott Arizona. No more tourist dollars. It worked for the MLK holiday. It will work in this instance as well.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. SJGRetiredAF

    I am concerned that American citizens and those here Legally may become victims of police harassment. Police abuse of power is rather widespread it seems. Having said that, I am totality against illegals..aka INVADERS. They sneak into our country without respect for laws, they over stay their welcome, many steal identities to continue their illegal ways. I don't lay the blame wholly on them though. We have many a traitorous employer that hires these invaders instead of fellow citizens. That is where the real crack down needs to be. If I have to pay more for a head of lettuce, so be it.

    My wife is a LEGAL immigrant. She filled out all the paperwork, got a green card, passed her citizenship test and is now an American. She did things the PROPER way and I completely support immigrants that do so. Welcome to the USA! Illegals take a dump over people like her with their law-breaking ways.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jonesey

    Jan Brewer's mother was born in England before migrating to the United States and marrying an American. My questions is... has anyone investigated into the possibility that her mother never ended up getting her citizenship, which would mean that... in essence... Jan Brewer herself was an "anchor baby?" If so... wouldn't that be an interesting twist to this issue? At least she could wallow in socialized health care if they deported her to England.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. EdBnv

    Arizona has some of the lowest crime rates in the country - and it has been FALLING!
    This whole illegal alien panic is horse crud.

    Look up facts before you write something that exposes you as an ignoramous!

    To think you all carry guns and can't even frickn read, meh.

    It is time to turn of the lies of draft dodging Rush Radio...

    April 29, 2010 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. AZ nurse

    I live in Arizona. I work in healthcare. Our state, like many others, is in crisis mode financially. We have had to cut more programs and services for the children, poor, education, public services, etc. Knowing that these services might have been saved if we weren't a border state is a little upsetting. My wife lived in Mexico for a year or so. She loves the people there. It saddens her that they take such great risk to cross the border for a better life. Just because their life there is hard does not justify breaking our laws and taxing our burdened system. It is easy for those of you in other states to cast judgement on a law we passed to protect our state when you don't know what it is like in our state. Pay up or shut up!
    I have taken care of illegals who were in an accident (18 crammed into a van by a greedy coyote) for over a month in ICU. The bill amounted to $500,000+ and they don't pay it. We can't even send them back to Mexico unless we send the necessary medical equipment to care for them (ie. ventilator ($5,000+), etc.). This is on top of the air transportation to get them there ($10,000 just to start the plane – not counting miles). When the local Telemundo spanish TV station hears of our intention then the whole community is in an uproar. "How dare you send this poor "victim" back to Mexico to die." They want us to institutionalize him here because they know we will take better care of him. But not one of those naysayers makes any kind of donation to help pay for his care. Pay up or shut up!
    My identification is checked at the border and so is theirs. I might not be checked coming back into the states because I look like an American citizen. But I am always checked when I leave the states because I don't look like a Mexican. Is that racial profiling? Why is it that we can't use the obvious as a tool to enforce immigration? We have to dance around "racial profiling" and tolerate rampant law breaking in order to not offend anyone. "He who is offended when it is not intended is a fool. So also is he a fool if he is offended when it is intended." If you have a problem whipping out your drivers license, which should be on you all the time anyway, to proudly show you are an American citizen then you are either hiding something, you feel the world owes you something, or you are not proud to be an American. I don't care if they check everyone's papers regardless of looks for the first several years if that is what it takes. But then you are talking immense resources to tackle such a feat. As long as we cater to them, they will continue risking their lives, lowering our living standards, and costing us millions of dollars by crossing the border illegally. If you think we should continue catering to them then pay up, or shut up!
    To put it into perspective, you wouldn't let a stranger "break" into your home, eat your food, use up your resources (medicine, education dollars, etc.), and expect to not pay their share, would you? That is exactly what is happening here. If you don't like the law then let me see some cash from your pocket to subsidize our burden. You should be paying for it anyway via the federal government. Where is our help? Where are the federal dollars to enforce the border? Pay up or shut up!
    If you are here illegally and we catch you, send you home, break up your family, whatever, I am sorry. But it was the risk you took and you lost. Just because you have been here 15 years doesn't make me wrong for sending you to the back of the immigration line in your own country behind all those who have waited so patiently. And don't try to cross the border when you are 9 months pregnant minus a day so you can deliver your baby here and claim their American citizenship. This is the kind of stuff we deal with all the time. Then when you are deported you claim we are breaking up your family. It isn't our fault we caught you. Come her legally and pay taxes. Pay up or shut up!
    As far as the jobs they perform. I will admit, we need their labor in this country. But there is also a legal way to do that which also gives them protection from abuse. Work visas allow them to work here, they pay taxes, and they can seek out legal action if they feel their rights have been abused. Currently, if an illegal works for a contractor and at the end of the day the contractor decides to dump him on the street corner withou paying him, the illegal can do nothing about it. Work visas give them rights and helps fill the huge void that would be left if they weren't here. That way they can make the money, have their rights, and everyone is happy.
    One last thing, for every comment I have read that is against this law both on this site and several others, there are ten more that are for this law. Is it just me or does it seem the majority of Americans are for this law but it is government, big business, and media that is driving a smear campaign. I have heard about the threats of boycotting our state. I would reckon to say the amount of money we would lose from these boycotts would pale in comparison to the amount of money we lose every year to illegal leaches sucking our system dry.
    One last time, come here legally, pay taxes, enjoy all the benefits of being an American. If you come here illegally then you have no rights to stay, you will be found, you will be sent back, and it just might destroy your family in the process. So think about what you are doing before you come here and take such a risk. That said, if you feel this is too unfair and that we are too hard on these poor perpetrators – Pay up or shut up!

    April 29, 2010 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. M&M

    Boycott Arizona. No more tourist, business dollars. (i.e. If 400k illegal immigrants buy $10.00 on any given day in goods, gas, meals, etc.; that equals 4 million dollars injected into the economy. And people still say that they don't pay taxes!

    Boycott Arizona! Boycott Arizona!

    April 29, 2010 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tuck

    AZ is smart to implement this early, before the getting-wealthier Chinese can take flights to AZ and becomes illegals then suck away your sunshine... and there are 1.4 billion of them! Go CATS!

    April 29, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
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