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 (1,243 Responses)
  1. Lisbeth Brocato

    So if we are racists and bigots here in Arizona, is not because we hate legal Mexicans. It is the illegals we do not like. They do not want to be Americans. If you drive by their barrios is Mexican flags in almost every house. And they refuse to learn English. They are polluting our Malls, Hospitals, parks, you name it. Do not critizes us unless you been here.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Moose

    Hey NR - quit your belly-aching. If you are in the country legally, then just show the docs and be on your way. That's the PRIVILEDGE you have in being here LEGALLY. Cough up the drivers license and we have no beef with you. Am I missing something?

    I'm trying to complicate the issue, but I just can't seem to do so. It's really very simple:
    COUGH UP YOUR "PAPER" (aka Drivers License) AND YOU'RE ALL SET.

    No Papers = C'ya!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mr. Tea

    Matt-wrong. The law does not forcepolice to stop anyone who looks illegal. The law says that police are required IN THE COURSE OF NORMAL INTERACTIONS WITH THE PUBLIC to check residency. A person has to be doing something potentially illegal first BEFORE getting asked for ID.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 2ndgenus

    We All have to play by the same rules, no exceptions. Legal is legal, criminal (illegal) is criminal. Come back when you can play by the legal rules like everyone else.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Moose

    I love how the illegals want us to believe that coppers will be stopping people for no reason! HA!!!!!

    I have an answer to that little problem: COUGH UP YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE and you can be on your way.

    NO DRIVERS LICENSE = HIT THE ROAD!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Aaron

    @ Lisa – If a person is paying taxes, owns a business, etc... then they have documentation which supports their reason for being here. They have therefore been through the BCIS, as well as Social Secrurity System, and have obtained said documentation which allows them to go to school, work, or whatever the case maybe. Therefore, they are not here illegally. They may not be Naturalized, but they are here legally. The offenders in question are those who do not have the right to be here, they have not gone through the right channels, have bypassed the system and live here undocumented. Illegal activity has a tendency to grow when around more illegal activity. Such as prostitution, gang violence, drugs, murder... etc. Arizona is simply enforcing National Policy on it's own last 300-500 meters.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mr. Tea

    I can pick out illegals very easily. They are lined up outside Home Depot at 6am. They are washing dishes at Dennys. They are vacuuming hotel rooms. They are doing the gardening and housekeeping in luxury mansions. And you know what, there is 10% of the legal American citizenry that needs their jobs.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lee

    So everyone, what does an illegal alien look like?
    I just need to know so we can "report them" and have their papers checked by the police.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Moose

    I'm happy to begin cutting my own grass if it means all ILLEGAL MEXICANS are being thrown out!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mr. Tea

    I don't know what an illegal looks like, but I know what they sound like.

    "No hablo ingles. Hablo solamente espanol."
    "Viva Mexico!"
    "No me gusta los Estados Unidos."

    (Sorry I don't know how to make tildes and upside down exclamation points)

    April 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Moose

    Hey Lee - No need to let you know anything. The problem will take care of itself WITHOUT your assistance. How you may axe?

    When illegal Mexicans get caught for DUIs, gang-banging, etc - we'll find them on our own. We don't need anyone's assistance. Thanks for offering though.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. jolly roger

    What part of ILLEGAL is that hard for most people and our government to understand? They should not be here at all under those conditions . . Illegals are costing our country
    millions . . .

    April 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Moose

    Hey me no more gusta the US either - oh wait, yes I do! HA!!!! :)

    I solamente (aka "only") speak the Spanish too! HA!!!!!

    Live the Mexico! The Mexico lives! NOT! LOL!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. someone in San Diego

    Just like here in California with prop 187 years ago, this new law has no chance of ever taking effect. We will always have illegals here in America.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Karoli

    To Bruce:

    Yes, I have read the Constitution, actually memorized great parts of it. The term "Inalienable rights" is NOT in the Constitution, but the Declaration of Independence.

    And the Constitution starts out "We the people of the United States..." which is interpreted as meaning citizens of the United States.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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