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

    My wife is from Germanny..it took us two years to do it correctly. We made sure to do it legally even though we could have just crossed the border.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. reggie

    This country is being invaded by third world labores, criminals crossing our boarders in thousands daily.
    We have these soft officials more interested in getting votes than in the secruity of this country.
    Racial profiling has been a part of America before this, and it will be after this , and these pressure groups will seek something else to complain about when this blows over.
    Illegal is illegal enforce the laws, thats all we as Americans are saying, and protect our boarders by all means, whats happening now isn't doing the job.
    I question what is going to happen to the health care bill if 40 million illegals are added if they are given amnesty?
    Amnesty didn't work for Carter,Regan because they forgot to secure the boader first.

    Love you Jan , stay strong, and get around all this by repeling part of the law and have 24 hr road blocks, checking for ID, so theres no problem.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jolly roger

    I personally saw a Mexican woman with three ID"s . . . One for WORK . . One for Food Stamps and who knows what all goes along with that . . And another for medical help and whatever . . Her and her other half were both employed where I work. And I Know plenty of local citizens that could sure could have used those jobs . . NICE SUV tho' . . REAL PRETTY WHEELS and TIRES . . You've seen it, It's everywhere . . I think we should DEMAND our jobs back. Legally, Mind You . . THE ILLIGAL MEXICANS NEED TO GO !!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Texan

    Hawkeye – Very well said.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Read the Constitution? The Constitution is for everyone, everyone in the United States of America. "WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION" This is the preamble of the Constitution, titled to the people of the UNited States. If you are not a citizen it is not written for you. It is something to aspire to, but not for the illegal. Illegal is illegal.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. MA Liberal

    As a minority myself, I can completely understand the hesitation a lot are feeling, believing this to lead to racial profiling. That being said, this is a nation of laws, and quite frankly our immigration laws are a joke. I don't know why my dad waited 11yrs to get his permanent resident card, with the additional year to add my mother, myself and my brother before emigrating to the US, when quite frankly he could have just flown us to Mexico and moved in years earlier. You can argue all you want that this creates racial profiling, and maybe it does, but if you are already a citizen and here lawfully, what do you honestly have to fear to establish that? I had a rough time travelling while I was a permanent resident card holder. Now that I am a US citizen, I do not face that type of scrutiny at all, despite my obvious "fitting the profile" characteristics. The system works, but we have to support that system so it works for everyone.
    And its not always Mexicans either, though that is the vast majority. I remember a story a few years back of a girl who went on a trip to Germany or something while in college, and found out trying to come back her parents immigrated from europe illegally and she was denied her travel back to the US where she had grown up. As much as it pains me to agree with a Tea Party advocate, Sign the Guestbook!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DRM

    So the Tea Partiers want more freedom, less government interference and lower taxes... but more tax payer funded government involvement and regulation and the diminution of the freedom of people who may or may not be illegal immigrants. If the government is so corrupt, inept and slow, why should they be involved here? I say privatize all of this enforcement business

    April 28, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BobKatOne

    We are al illegals. Ask any Native American.
    Sheesh. So now the invaders are being invaded.
    Maybe its time to put on the war paint?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dick Chalquest

    How can police identify Americans with only a drivers license. Anyone looking foreign can be stopped and many could be 100% Americans but only have a drivers license to prove it.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    San Fransisco authorities have ridiculed this Arizona law. Fine, just just give us an address in San Fransisco we can drop off all the illegal aliens we catch in AZ. The illegal alien from Asia, South/Central America, China, Africa, or Europe when they cross our borders undocumented at the Federal law level are in fact "Criminals"! How is it they choose not to enforce the law on our southern borders and when the state does something about it the Fed wants to step on the state's soverienty to enforce the laws to protect its own "CITIZENS"? Of course there is nothing to fear as far as violence on the Arizona/Mexico border that would endanger the Arizona CITIZENS....right?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kevin

    Bruce – Did you know that only 2% of illegal immigrants work in the fields? Quit trying to use the same weak arguments....

    April 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    So according to Bruce, I can go have some fun tonight as the Constitution will protect me from punishment for breaking the law. Everyone to the streets tonight.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    When they pull over a high tech employee who is from India, will they make him prove he is legally here?

    Even a white person speaking English could be here illegally from Canada!

    They should have written the law so that anyone stopped by police should be required to show proof of citizenship. A driver's license would not be sufficient– it would have to be a US Passport or birth certificate. And the police should set up a clearinghouse so they can fax the birth certificates to someone so they can be examined for legitimateness.

    What is Arizona going to do with all of these people they arrest? Are they going to deport them? I would be surprised that would be an option. So I assume they are going to put them in prison. And they were complaining about the immigrant burden on the state?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ivan

    Billy Bob is on the losing side of both history and demographics...GOP, my dear angry old white male racists, November couldn't come soon enough.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Simon

    I agree with the principle of keeping illegal immigrants out and enforcing our laws, Unfortunately, this law can't be enforced in an even-handed manner because the only external indicator of a possible violation of immigration laws is lingual or racial. So by necessity, this law will result in people who 'look' Hispanic and sound Hispanic to be targeted unfairly. That is the problem with the law, not its intentions.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
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