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. Runner1082

    Immigrants are hard working people without them we will suffered. Will you white people take there place to work in the 120 degree wheather for landscaping? Will you work in the fast food industry? Will you work washing cars in the summer? Think about it don't be stupid you need them they are good hard working people.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tempe

    Take responsibility, move forward, and appreciate opportunities –or– Play the victim, march in place and endure it. At first glance an odd statement to post on this thread, but take a deeper look at what we in AZ are doing. AZ has made the move to enforce a national law that is in modern times misguided. We are taking a cold medication daily when we should be taking vitamins, eating right and exercising. Peel back the onion and ask yourselves why those who are here illegally by the current (national) law chose to stay here and keep coming here. They come and stay because they perceive a benefit to be here; We that are already here perceive a negative impact because they are here. Those who are not here legally take from the system because they are not part of the system, hence the reason those who are in the system want them to leave. This is not a immigration problem, but we are attacking it as if it is. It is a economic problem. Anyone coming here already pays to get here, but it doesn't benefit the tax base. If you live in AZ like I do you know we don't have the money to keep our local schools and universities running. Yet we have made the decision to pump more money, which we don't have, enforcing a national law that doesn't work. Our educational system in this state is based on local property tax. If you are not in the system you don't pay into the fund. Tax those who want to come here, take what the Coyotes get and pay for registration. Remove the burden on the property owners and base law enforcement and education funding on consumption and a national value added tax (VAT). We in AZ should stand up and say we want to keep our income taxes in our homes and replace the gap with taxing all who buy and sell goods in our state. I don't what my government to tax me for arresting a dish washer, I want them to charge the dish washer for what s/he consumes while he is here. If you don't have a date on Saturday night, it is because there is not enough supply or because you are not in demand. Everything comes down to economics, everything. This is the time we in Arizona can move forward, and treat this threat as the economic opportunity that it really is. Else march in place and endure it.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. AZ nurse

    I agree they are hard working people. I would like to exchange them for some of the citizen riff-raff we have here. But they can come here with work visas and fill the same jobs. Why does everyone think we don't want them here at all? I want them here....legally. I read a study that said as many as %40 of deported illegals have criminal pasts – and that is not just because they were here illegally. Just a month ago a rancher on the border was shot on his own land when he approached an illegal trying to cross. If these people are willing to break the law to get into the land, why do we assume they won't want to break any other laws, especially if they get desperate for money? My parents teach the Gospel in the jails – yes, tent city. They just had to relocate all of the female inmates to another facility to clear room for the mass number of illegals they have arrested for "breaking the law." Why are we the kidnap capital of the country? These coyotes take advantage of these desperate immigrants by charging them huge fees to get them across the border in the most humiliating and inhumane ways, then hold them ransom for more money once they get to Phoenix, cramming 30+ into a small home until they somehow pay up. If we don't make it nice for them here then they will not want to cross illegally. If they don't cross illegally then we bring them across legally and they don't have to risk so much with the coyotes and law enforcement.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. tij

    Runner1082 – college students and teenagers desperately need jobs. When I was a teen, I was able to get a job at the age of 16. A real job with a real paycheck. Today, teens can spend a year of two looking for jobs. They are getting depressed and losing their self-esteem because there are no jobs available.

    We vacationed in Utah and the employees in the lodging area were all college students. They need money too to support themselves through college. The college students were doing housekeeping jobs like changing linens, cleaning tubs and toilets, taking out trash, doing kitchen work, picking up trash. So when we were there and the college students were employees, we did not suffer because they did a darn good job of keeping the place clean and classy.

    Jay Leno's first job is washing cars.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. AZ nurse

    Tempe – I like your economic approach to solve the issue, but what of the crime? Will the tax actually stop the immigration or will they just live in worse conditions than they already are to offset the cost of the higher tax? Will the loss of income drive them to more criminal activity?

    April 29, 2010 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tempe

    AZ nurse – If I was giving a speech, I may say thank you for the lead in. Yes they come because of the benefit. When you take away the benefit, if it cost as much to live here as it does where you are coming from, they why come? Unless it is a escaping something worse, which in that case it is not a economic decision. Thus from our end it becomes a moral issue. Which is not something I myself am not in position to tackle. I'll leave that one to the church.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. Gerard T.

    AZ Nurse,
    You right I have cousins, aunts, uncles, and few friends. With this law, you put a target on there heads. And you say "Who cares they are hear illegally!", yeah your right. But these people don't want to come here to rape your children, steal your job, and steal your money. They have family's at home that depend on every penny they make, which is already shit as it is. Without these workers, Mexico's economy goes to hell ( which wont take much ) and you put these familys in a position that I hope my family or anyone's family never experiences. This is inhuman! Unfair, and just un American. I care about these people, I understand first hand what they go through, and damn you if doubt my credibility.

    This is history repeating itself. How can we single out people looking for any opportunity to have a good life. A better solution exist, this is nowhere near it.

    April 29, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tempe

    (sorry for the double negative – it was not intentional, I trust my position was clear)

    April 29, 2010 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. AZ nurse

    Gerard – when do we stop illegal immigration? Do we open the borders, flood the land with cheap laborers who get free public service for the price of sales tax? Our economy can't float with so many in the boat. Who gets thrown overboard first? I know it sounds unAmerican...if your American. Just because you are here does not make you an American. Just because you believe in the ideals of this country and wish to stay for the opportunity does not make you an American.
    When I was a kid we were poor. My friends played with G.I. Joe's while I played with 10 year old hand-me-down toys. You know what? I was happy with 10 year old hand-me-downs...until I saw the G.I. Joe's. I didn't know what I was missing until I had something better to compare to. If these immigrants would stay in Mexico and try to make lemonade out of lemons, maybe they wouldn't know what they are missing either. As far as us buoying up the economy of Mexico, that is not our problem.
    Look how Mexico treats us? If I get sick and go to a hospital I must pre-pay for service. Why? Because they can't afford to care for me if I get sick and can't pay. If I was there illegally they would throw me in jail. Now we return the favor and everyone gets upset.
    Remember, Mexico is not the worst place to live. I'm sure there are worse places in this world and if those people wanted to come to Mexico illegally to burden their already poor government, what do you think Mexico would do?

    April 29, 2010 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Carl H

    Mr. Earle has hit the nail on the head. Illegal is illegal in any language. Why can't people understand this. This law will only help all of the legal immigrants. Right on!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2010 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  11. AZ nurse

    We have tolerated illegal immigration for decades because, although it was a problem and there were laws to help resolve it, it was not burdening the system extensively so we kind of looked the other way. Now it is an issue. We are broke. We can't afford to be the Good Samaritan anymore. We need the federal government to enforce the border laws...NOW. If they can't/won't then we will. If noone else likes how we are running things – make a donation or come try to fix this crisis yourself. Any hands? Anyone think they can do a better job? Anyone else have extra millions to pay for free education, healthcare, public services? Didn't think so. It's easy to sit behind a computer and ramble off your "Christian" opinions but when the time comes for action you just shut the computer off and pretend there isn't a problem or that it isn't so serious. I lived in South Phoenix. I was a caucasian minority. I had 10-12 kids at my house everyday "playing" with my 4 year old. The only thing is, these were kids 8-18 years of age. They weren't at our house to play. We fed them, helped them with their homework, and provided adult supervision because their parents were out working leaving them home unsupervised. They eventually end up in gangs – grafittiing, stealing cars, breaking into homes. I can't tell you how many things went missing around our home during this time. We couldn't handle it anymore economically or emotionally, so we relocated. We tried to be the Good Samaritans because my wife lived in Mexico for a while and felt bad for these kids. But we were pushed over the edge and had to retreat. This is so common here. Is it fair? Only God knows. It is somewhere between a bad and worse decision. Bad is to kick them out of the country. Worse is to let them stay and encourage further decline of the economy and living circumstances.

    April 29, 2010 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    Tij (1122 & 1125), I'm not sure how you are formulating your arguments but they're not terribly convincing. Again though, I promise you I am not lying, spelling & grammar, it really does help one's credibility. W/ respect to Moose, his contention was that all one need have to prove legal residence is a DL which is not accurate, that is all I commented on with respect to him/her and I shall never mention him/her again. Further, regarding your other post (1125), negative, unintended, or undesired results ideally would never happen. But as we all know, THEY DO ALL THE TIME, plus your scenarios are also not accurate w/ respect to what constitutes reasonable suspiscion. Truly, is it reasonable for all individuals, legal or not, to install the same equipment that is contained in police vehicles? Does that mean citizens of color have to bring a video camera anytime they venture into AZ? You don't get it, but I am here to help. Let's say the law was implemented, AZ thinks this will save them heaps of cash. As someone else said, wait until all the legal residents start getting harassed and the tally of civil rights lawsuits and their ensuing settlements will force some of the posters to reasses the fiscal argument. AND, because those are federal court issues, the federal government will spend even more of our tax dollars due to this law which........here it comes...........could siphon resources from other federal agencies, i.e. ICE.

    Gorgegirl, you are adept at quoting precedent and the words of others, can you formulate your own opinions and support them with your own words? If I was a law professor for 30 years and a judge for 20, I would still never refer to myself as a legal scholar, even Supreme Court justices get it wrong at times. I merely stated an opinion based upon experience, education, and yes precedent, but you need to understand that dicta, although part of any judicial opinion, is not the crux of the opinion, for that we look to the holding. Finally, which state is more important to the Union, AZ or CA? If CA could not do it with a statute with greater specificity, do you really think AZ will get away with it?

    April 29, 2010 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. Heather

    I agree with the bill, I am sorry, but if you can't get a visa to come here, then you don't belong here. My great grandfather immigrated here LEGALLY, he learned English, in fact refusing to speak his native tongue, he became part of our culture, he did not expect our culture to change for him. That is what all these illegals don't understand. Yeah, we all are immigrants to this country, however, we and our ancestors, came legally.

    April 29, 2010 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. CessileClam

    This law was long overdue! Arizona will be THE FIRST place I will vacation if safety is no longer an issue. Just today a mexican man killed his wife in Texas with a chainsaw. Drug cartels run rampant. As a taxpayer I resent paying for all the free services for illegals. Go home and make mexico a great place folks.

    April 29, 2010 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. freddy

    Showing your papers when the police ask is fine if you have nothing to hide. I'm sure that applies when it comes to registering your guns too, right?

    April 29, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
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