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. Jack

    I agree that the average citizen has nothing to fear, but those of you who think its as simple as showing the police your driver's license, you're mistaken. Driver's licenses don't prove citizenship, in fact they aren't even sufficient to prove to your employer that you're eligible to be employed in the U.S.

    So think along these lines, let's say you and your husband and your two kids look mildly hispanic, you'd better go apply for your passports ($65 each, unless you need it quickly, and let's face it, you might get pulled over, then its $95 each). So, in order to be able to prove your citizenship, you'll need to take your kids out of school, go get passport photos taken, fill out the forms, go down to the passport office (hopefully on your day off....but if you don't have a day off during the week you'll have to take a vacation day) Pay your $400 bucks and hope you don't get stopped until you have your passports, which you will all need to carry around with you at all times. How does that sound for freedom?

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

    Amen. It's 100% okay to deport illegals, as they are breaking the law and that is the consequence. I just don't understand how this bill does not lead to racial profiling.

    It will also have unintended consequences on AZ's economy, but that is besides the point.

    Hawkeye – why does your immigrant have to be named Jose and the citizen named Joe? There are plenty of citizens named Jose, Carlos, etc... I point this out because you are profiling an illegal already! You didn't even think about it. So now, AZ Cops are going to wander around and disturb/harass people of Hispanic decent and now have the right to do so legally. That's NOT American.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KBinMN

    Let's try this and see if the Left get it. You are underage and want to go to a bar where the drinking age is 21. You have a false driver’s license and you manage to get by the bouncer. Once in the bar a local police officer sees the person and thinks the person may be under 21. The officer approaches and asks for ID. Would that be wrong? That’s all Arizona is doing. Nothing more.

    Of course if you were in San Fran the Mayor would say that the police officer had no right asking as the drinking age is a State law and local law enforcement had no right to try to enforce a State law. What a joke. Does local law enforcement respond to bank robberies? That is a Federal crime so maybe they shouldn’t.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. shadowace

    Arizona- You have courage.....if only congress had the courage you have shown...would America again become a great place.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Running Deer

    You really feel the illeagals are taking your job? Your pretty pathedic Jolly rancher or roger what ever you want to call yourself. Get an education!!!! if you want all the illeagals to leave then I guess you better start packing too. I don't remeber you showing your papers to the native americans when you came here.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kana

    What's that statement we hear time and again? Oh yea, "if you're not doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about".

    What part of ILLEGAL don't people understand?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jack

    These teabaggers have low IQ. What part of the bill they don't understand when it clearly says that every brown guy can be stopped now for questioning? It means US citizens and legal immigrants as well. BTW, it is the GOP that is blocking the federal goverment from reforming the immigration system and they use that to justify encroachment of federal powers. Remember how GOP scuttled the immigration reform planned by George Bush?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dirty Joe

    Why do we go so far to protect the "rights" of non citizens. Obviously we're not going to torture or enslave them. But they should not be able to avail themselves of US protections if they are not US citizens. Northern states don't seem to understand the problem. Come on down to Texas (where I live) or Arizona for a taste of how bad it is.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. N. Looker

    So where is the guest book? There isn't one.

    Illegal is illegal? That's what they said when they arrested the old black woman who refused to sit at the back of the bus. That's what they said when they arrested darkly featured people eating at segregated lunch counters. Illegal? Yep. Constitutional? Nope.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kris

    I do agree w/ the law; but I do not think it should be up to the state, it should be up to the federal government to take on this task. This is bigger than just Arizona.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. spocksbrain

    The phrase "employers who take advantage of their cheap labor" says it all. This is the real problem and this is what Arizona and the Federal Govt ought to deal with. Big Agriculture and anyone who hires illegals. Stopping people on the street because they LOOK suspicious and forcing them to produce their "papers" is not a solution to the problem and reeks of the Gestapo.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. john palmer

    Hey John from San Fran,
    I just cancelled my companies tearly retreat in your city. I am rescheduling the event in Flagstaff. This company of 22 people , without exception, chose to do this. I am very proud of them. Support Arizona! Boycott San Francisco!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joanna

    The hate-mongering against illegal immigrants is incredible. Our economy – not to mention our Social Security system, which is propped up by illegal immigration – would tank if these racist morons were successful, Illegal immigrants use false or stolen SSNs to work, meaning they pay into the system, but they are not able to use those same numbers to claim out of it – and most of them leave after a few years anyway. They don't want to be here any more that I want to move to Mexico, but American economic policies have totally destroyed many Mexican jobs. If you people want to get angry with the real destroyers of American jobs, get mad with Wall Street and the elites who are openly supported by the GOP and Fox News.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. USMCIntel

    TO BRUCE (Comment #7):

    The reason the Founders worded the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution the way they did is because they could not fathom that America would ever become so stupid that we'd pay people tons of money in services simply because they're breathing.

    There was no welfare, there were no food stamps, there was no "take from the rich" because they must, by definition be evil and give to the poor because they must, by definition be victims. The founders said you could come here and give it your best shot. Liberals have corrupted the process and now there's an entire group of people who will risk anything to get here simply so they can get stuff for free. Sure some will work, but some won't. It is a simple mathmatical equation that leftists will keep buying votes until there's no more money left and the system falls apart. Then they'll all act surprised. History is just repeating itself.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Hatfokker


    Lets try this and see if the RIGHT gets it


    Sooooo does EVERYONE in the United States have to carry their PROOF of citizenship or legal residence with them (passport or green card) or JUST the ones who look or sound UN-AMERICAN?

    Get the problem??

    Its not about illegal immigrants it about treating someone who looks or sounds foreign DIFFERENT to everyone else. This is a nation of immigrants so a bit of a problem I would say

    April 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
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