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. John Lupus

    Non-Citizens should have nothing to fear. This law is against non-citizens who have zero rights under our constitution or bill of rights. They have NO rights.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      You are incorrect. Green card holders are LEGAL immigrants and are also not citizens. While they cannot vote or do jury duty, they have the same rights and duties as you. Green card holders also pay taxes 🙂 Your statement that non-citizens have no rights is incorrect.

      May 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shellybeau

    Amen to this! And I thought I didn't like the ideology of the Tea Party Reformists!

    April 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tia

    Agreed Shelby, We need Immigration reform. I had a friend that went to South American and they wouldnt give her 6 pints of blood until one of her friends gave blood as they stated they just couldnt treat non citizens and neglect their own due to lack of supply. Ummm? On another note our economy is in shambles, fix this then address immigration. When the United States becomes a third world country they"ll all be running outta here LoL!

    April 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alma

    I love the inmigrants... Jesus Christ love too...

    April 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. joe

    There are thousands of people from Europe, Asia, and Africa all waiting, years in some cases mind you, to gain legal entrance and citizenship in the U.S. Should they be denied amnesty just because the location of their homeland prevents them from sneaking in through the desert in the middle of the night? We let this problem get too big because we pander to the throngs of illegals who take to the streets to loudly demand we continue to not enforce our laws. If any of these people truly cared about the U.S. and truly wanted to be citizens, they'd take it upon themselves to leave and apply for citizenship legally.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bruce

    Anyone here actually READ the U.S. Constitution? It applies to EVERYONE, not just Americans. Sounds to me like everyone's been getting their info from either Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or that total moron, Sarah Palin. Our Bill of Rights state that everyone has INALIENABLE RIGHTS, not just American citizens or residents of Phoenix, Arizona. When the "Teabaggers" get their way, they'll start complaining that they now have to pay $5.99 fr a head of lettuce. And again, they'll find someone else to assign the blame to.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jacob

    Just for clarification to the comment made on 04/28/10 at 3pm, according to the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the amendment's Equal Protection Clause requires states to provide equal protection under the law to ALL PEOPLE within their jurisdictions, this would include "illegal immigrants".

    April 28, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TammyB

    I have read the Constitution having been a law student. We are also a country of LAWS. If any one of us, who are here in the USA do anything ILLEGAL, we have to suffer the consequences, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, and so on. I live in AZ. There are many ILLEGALS here. Therefore, since they are here ILLEGALLY, they must suffer the consequences like the rest of us. They, as a group, cannot be EXCLUDED from the LAW. It is as simple as this. The Federal Government has not done anything to enforce the law already in place, so we passed a law here which mirrors the language of the Federal Law. What is unconstitutional about that? Why are we giving more rights to the people who are here illegally and discriminating against the rest of us, who are here legally? By letting illegal aliens just continue to not be held accountable for breaking a law here, what are we telling the rest of population? Ignore any laws you want to.....just point at all the illegal immigrants here and how they get away with breaking the law everyday!

    April 28, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gary

    So Jacob, if the U.S. Constitution requires equal protection under the law to all people, then all people who break the law should be punished in accordance with the law. Right? Isn't that what the AZ law does – punishes those who break the law.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Steve

    Disagree Bruce – Although all people do have inalienable rights, we also have Federal & now State laws regarding illegal entry into our country. And maybe lettuce will cost more, but your taxes will go down & there will be more jobs that also will pay more.
    We must also end NAFTA so everyone can go back to the farms. It's a shame we export corn cheaper than they can make it. Then subsidize our farms for their losses with more taxes.
    Let's face it we're all on the same side. It's really the people vs the government.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Betty

    Yes laws are to apply to any person within our borders but you are to be aware if you violate the law there are repercutions for not following the rules. If I walked into your home and made myself comfortable using everything and then you walk in the door do you have the right to have me punished? Within our borders is our home and yes there are to be laws that are enforced no matter who you are, if you need a home or job or doctor you sure can't take it from me.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bruce


    Know what the remedy is for being in this country on an undocumented status is? Deportation! It's not a crime to reenter unless you were forcebly deported via a federal hearing. As for better jobs? Yeah, right. I can see all the tea partiers running to the farms to pick strawberries! As for subsidizing farms with our taxes, wouldn't that be the dreaded "socialism" you're all afraid of? That's the "people versus government" thing you're talking about? As for you, Betty, there's a big difference between residenrial burglary and entering the country without documentation. Panic is the last thing we need in discussing this issue.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Moose

    Excellent news - the less illegal Mexicans in the country, the better.

    Go Arizona!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tong Knots

    I'm fine with this law as long as they add a couple of more. Most Serial Killers are white males, and most kids who shoot up schools are white suburbia kids. If you are a balding, scary-looking white male in his late 40s or a skinny, zit-faced pale kid the cops can pull you over and question whether or not you have body parts in your freezer or guns at your house. I would feel a ton safer. Just think of how many muderers we might be preventing!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joe

    CNN is propaganda news. These are illegal immigrants who are breaking the law. they did not want to come here legally through the legal proess like everyone else. Why should we cater to these people who have no respect for our country. They do not pay taxes yet they hog up our ER rooms, school systems and welfare system. Arizona should be praised for standing up for America! less

    April 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
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