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. gill

    I am democrat, and as much as i would hate to say it, there are people in asian and european countries with much better education and more to contribute to america for whom getting to america can take years through petitioning and such. We know most illegal immigrants in this country are of hispanic origin, its not profiling, its just the truth. Why should we be lenient towards them just because they border us? There needs to be a quota on immigration from mexico, and the only way that will work is if other border states inact laws like arizona's and border security is toughened. America can no longer afford to keep educating and provide healthcare for the increasing number of illegal immigrants in our communities, its a burden on the rest of us who do things the legal way.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Moose,

    Yes ANYONE can just show their license. But we aren't a nation that stops people just because they look a certain way. It's unconstitutional. Thats the only point I'm making and you guys just keep saying, if they are being legal then they have nothing to fear. You are countering my argument without addressing it. What is the problem with amending the language to ensure a rogue cop doesn't just go around stopping mexican looking people?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Moose

    THE MOOSE SAYS: LET ALL ILLEGAL MEXICANS BOYCOTT ARIZONA BY LEAVING THE COUNTRY PERMANENTLY!!!!!

    THERE'S THE DOOR!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. R.

    One of the arguments that comes up a lot for illegal immigrants is that if they weren't here the price of lettuce (Insert crop of choice) will go up drastically. While it may go up some. If the price goes up won't more people decide to grow more lettuce to increase the supply? If I can sell heads of lettuce at $7 I won't be working at Arby's for $7 anymore. I'll be growing lettuce.

    Walls are stupid though also. No wall ever stopped the flow of people wanting better life. Prosecute and/or fine the employers of illegals and it will stop. Come to the country legally.

    You have to get a degree to work many jobs. You should have to be legal to work and receive benefits of the country.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DAN

    IF YOU ARE A NATIVE AMERICAN AS MY WIFE IS, GET OFF THE ILLEGAL BAND WAGON YOU DUMB HIPPOCRAT OR ARE YOU ILLEGAL ALSO?
    IF YOU ARE ILLEGAL AND CAN READ THIS, G E T LEGAL. YOU USE THE USA CITIZENS RIGHTS FOR NOTHING AND EXPECT US TO PAY FOR IT.
    WHAT IS ALL THIS GARBAGE ABOUT FEAR? AFRAID TO GO OUT AND SHOP BECAUSE OF MAYBE GETTING STOPPED.
    YOU IDIOTS THAT ARE OF THE SAME MIND SET, GET A LIFE FOR YOURSELF, OTHERWISE GO THRU IMMIGRATION LIKE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO.
    THE USA OWES YOU N O T H I N G, GET IT, N O T H I N G.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Matt

    Dan,

    It's not fear. It's a thing that people like to call the RIGHT TO PRIVACY. The law protects from undue searches and seizures. Period. One example of undue search or seizure would be stopping people based on the color of their skin.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. alienprophecy

    It says in the NIV Bible "Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt." (Exodus 23:9). I cannot say that I oppose this law, because it's simply a way to enforce existing laws that have already been broken. However, I -do- think that we need to reevaluate our existing immigration policy, to make it easier for people from other countries to immigrate to the United States.

    People that say that Hispanics are taking our jobs are neglecting the fact that they're also creating more jobs–don't they have mouths to feed as well? Don't they have needs and wants that need to be fulfilled? That's money in the pockets of our businesses. If you can't compete against a person who just got here, who may or may not speak English...well, you're pretty much pathetic.

    This law would have been better if those who were already in the country were granted citizenship and taxed like everyone else. Afterwords, relaxed immigration policy, checking only for, perhaps, literacy, knowledge of basic laws, and criminal background...then absolutely -zero- tolerance for illegals. Also, there should be a measurement that says that your access to things such as healthcare and social security are limited by how much you've paid into the system...for instance, if you've paid income tax for 5 years, then you're covered. Private charities should be set up to help those who aren't covered (it should be voluntary, not forced).

    This is solely the opinion of one Libertarian.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MissJay

    Message for Moose!!!!!!!!!!!1

    I can't believe after all these years that people still think like this. Moose you're an idiot. So, are all the other people that think that by kicking illegal immigrants out is going to help. what we need is to make it easier for those that are here to become documented. I don't think Moose is going to go out in the fields to pick the crops. We need them. They are our life support.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hawaiikaos

    I'm going to try to ignore the blatant racism in these comments and deliver a few facts (having been up close and personal with the immigration system):

    - "illegal immigrant" is a misnomer. The correct term is "undocumented immigrant". I don't know how or who started the the "illegal" part, but it definitely casts a pall over anyone who has messed up their documentation

    - the immigration system has been a complete shambles since the early nineties, and has gotten progressively worse. Part of this is due to legislation Ted Kennedy introduced in the sixties to be "more compassionate" to immigrants - it basically let extended family of existing immigrants get priority over new immigrants. This totally CLOGGED UP the system. For some countries, there are wait times of decades before an immigrant can even come to the US once they apply. That's just stupid.

    - there are too many different categories of immigrant, with different standards for documentation, different wait times, and other varying requirements. Did you know you could immigrate fairly instantly if you bring a million bucks into the country? Yet the Cambodian relative of a current immigrant has to wait 15+ years, and the IT worker from India with a PhD has to work at the same tech company in silicon valley for six years while getting screwed with lower wages (if not because of discrimination, than simply because he's stuck there and can't complain). Nor can he leave and visit family in India for certain periods of the time he has to wait out to get a green card, and only if he's lucky will his paperwork be processed in those six years. Meanwhile, the preist from Ireland gets a free ride in because he's in another special category. How is any of that fair? The process should be equal for everyone, and the wait time should be consistent.

    - the immigration system has quotas and limits for different countries, in order to promote some weird idea of a cultural melting pot with equal amounts of ingredients. If people don't want to come to this country, we shouldn't hold open spots for them. That's stupid.

    - students that come here for college are promptly turned out of the country once they graduate. Why? We've just invested 4 or more years of time in them, they've become accustomed to the culture, and the we just throw them out? Being a good student should be a path to immigration.

    - the cost of immigrating prices most would be immigrants out of the process. Its overly complicated, and you absolutely need a lawyer to do it right (and even then, its kind of a crapshoot). If you are living in poverty in Mexico, you will not be able to afford the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to immigrate "properly".

    So people, please, before you go spouting off about how "illegals are breaking the law" please, please, please, take the time to think about why. Nobody wants to "leach off the system", that's just hateful to say about someone, and hardly describes the vast majority of undocumented immigrants, just as it hardly describes any of the citizens legally using the social resources of this country.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Texan

    I live 20 minutes from the border and I am surrounded by people of hispanic origin and trust me – when any law enforcement vehicle drives through the area – it's not hard to guess who is here illegally and who isn't. To many of them it is a big joke – they get kicked out they are back in 2 weeks or less – There is no penalty you get caught you get sent home – really?? I get caught residing in Mexico – it's in our terms a felony punishable by 2 years in a Mexican jail. I don't think I'll take that chance...

    April 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Moose

    Hey Matt - YOU are the one who said that we aren't a nation that stops people just because they look a certain way. I never said that, and I'm not paranoid enough to buy into the the lie that EVERY HISPANIC will be pulled over for no reason. Sorry, but I just can't go there with that extreme view.

    The REALITY is that the GENERAL RULE will be that the illegal MEXICANS will be pulled over for DUI, gang banging, etc. This issue is sooooooooo under the micrscope that the coppers will be even more UNLIKELY to pull people over for no reason. Oh wait....that's right....I just remembered...the law ACTUALLY SAYS THEY CAN'T PULL people over unless they have reasonable cause. And we both agree that the color of your skin doesn't give the coppers "reasonable cause". For God's sake Matt, our CURRENT President is half-white/black. Haven't we already checked that box off and can move on?

    Welcome to 2010 - the 1960's are in the past. Time to move on (.org) and starting to trust your local coppers to uphold the law.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wasp

    This ID issue reminds me of buying alcohol- Before I turned 21 I was scared as heck of being carded but after I turned 21 AND LEGAL I actually wanted to be carded.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Reggie

    If this is all about illegals, why does everyone keep referring to Mexicans. What about your snowbirds that never went back to Canada. Asians? Aussies?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    Dan,

    I happen to be white, American, and born and raised in the USA. I also happen to respect the rights of minorities who are Americans also. I do not support rights for illegal immigrants but I think there has to be a better way to prosecute them without resorting to this kind of policy. Why not go after businesses? They are just as much a part of the problem. It is much easier to institute random business checks, similar to health and safety checks to make sure our businesses arent hiring illegals.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Texan

    Matt – That is a good idea – however the first time the INS starts checking the hotel chains and their cleaning crew or the workers in the field your going to have other groups screaming that they are "profiling" those occupations.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
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