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.
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  1. Tim Green

    Tea Partiers? Isn't that just another name for republicans who are too ashamed to call themselves republicans?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tina

    My parents and I emigrated to the States in 1958. An uncle sponsored us and my parents and he signed papers to say that they would not become a burden to the state. Though my Dad was qualified to work in an automotive Parts Department he had to wash dishes for about 6 months in the Downtown L.A. Hilton in the evenings. Then, he'd be up early to stand at the corner "slave market" to get any kind of job (ditch-digging, whatever) for the day. When he finally did get hired, the only opening was the lowest position- the delivery driver. He took it. 7 years later, he was the Manager of the department.

    That's how immigration works. Legally enter the U.S. and work your way up. As you move up, the next wave of legal immigrants take the jobs vacated.

    Even though we were here legally, with our precious green cards, we were always very careful about following all the rules and not breaking any laws. Our lives here were so much better than what was left behind. We came here to become Americans, which all 3 of us now are. I love to visit England, but America, and California especially, is home.

    My parents were lucky, since they spoke English (even though there are quite a few hilarious stories they can share about British/American vocabulary differences they ran in to the first year or so. English is a hard language to learn and bless any foreign language speaker who is trying to learn it. Really: comb, tomb, bomb? Very difficult to learn.

    As long as a person's papers are checked because they are being questioned due to a vehicular infraction or other type of crime, I think I am okay with the procedure. Still, the idea that any officer will one day say "Show me your papers." makes my flesh crawl.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Logic?

    I hope some of you at least realize that a drivers license isn't exactly *proof* of citizenship. I can go get a DL in the UK and I'm not a citizen, just the same as Brit can here. I also don't understand why you're putting such anger on the immigrants themselves when you should really be looking at the car dealers, business owners, and apartment landlords that allow them to buy cars, get a job, and rent an apartment without some proof of residency/tax status/social security number. It seems like if you arrest them for bad business and tax evasion, it wouldn't be so nice to come here illegally in the first place – and we wouldn't have to resort to passing inane discriminatory legislation that panders to a conservative base. Why not just take out the (usually Americans) who buy the businesses and own the land and then in turn allow illegal immigrants to live/work/drive without paying the tax on it? I mean, if you are employed in this country and you're not paying taxes, it means your employer is breaking the law too.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Graham

    I just love how only weeks ago tea partiers were hoisting signs in mass amounts declaring our president to be a Nazi when now they are all in support of a law that requires people of a certain race to present proper papers and identification else they be help in a local prison until identification can be found or immediately deported regardless of their actual status as visitor resident citizen or illegal. That sounds an awful lot more like Nazi Germany than universal healthcare.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrew

    The Constitution guarantees rights to all human beings present inside US territory. It specifically affords those rights to citizens that only citizens will have, ie – voting and electoral office. I'm so sick and tired of hearing tea partiers banter on that the Constitution is only for American citizens. So much hogwash.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mark

    Its simple folks. We can no longer support our own citizens, much less non citizens. The jobs in the us need to be for citizens first.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Hawkeye

    Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.

    But I say, "No! I like it here. It's better than my house. I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest (except for when I broke into your house).

    According to protesters:

    You are Required to let me stay in your house
    You are Required to feed me
    You are Required to add me to your family's insurance plan
    You are Required to Educate my kids
    You are Required to Provide other benefits to me & to my family
    (my husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).

    If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.

    It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just
    trying to better myself. I'm a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house ...And what a deal it is for me!!!

    I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.

    Oh yeah, I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE!!! so you can communicate with me.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jim

    If I drive into Arizona on vacation do I need a U.S. passport to prove I am a natural born citizen? I can travel anywere else in the U.S.A without a passport because internal passports are not required anywhere else. What if I don't have a passport?. Should I apply and get one and pay the fee to make sure that I don't end up in an Arizona jail until I can somehow get proof of citizenship?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    John Palmer – enjoy Flagstaff and I hope your retreat goes wonderfully. However, business might be difficult when all of the businesses around you start failing because AZ cops are busting the chops of every Mexican they see. That's a lot less people to by your product (whatever it may be) and a lot less commerce for the state. This will lead to poor quality state programs because tax revenues are down and eventually AZ will be the Idaho of the south. Pretty to look at, but no one really wants to go there.

    However, I'm glad that you are keeping 22 people employed in this economy. Congratulations.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DAVID


    April 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jason

    Hey illegals, what if 20 million Americans invaded Mexico, camped out on the street corners, popped out kids like a pez dispenser and didn't pay "income" taxes? How would you feel? There is NOTHING, I mean NOTHING in this law that targets ANY group based on color, country of origin.. You anti-American illegals who march with your damn Mexican flags all-the-while demanding rights that DO NOT pertain to you complain when a law is written against ILLEGALS. W/T/F is wrong with Arizona taking a stand? Suddenly America is a bad place and you want out. Well I live in Chandler and I don't see a mass exodus out of my cities.. Surely you've had enough time to gather your crap and move out, I hear New Mexico or San Francisco or Chicago will take you.. Then when you become a burden on that city, they will give you the boot..

    As an American I CAN NOT go into any other country, expect to be catered to with regards to schools, hospitals, food stamps, babies, etc.. I am required to carry my passport everywhere I am over-seas.. Why is that a bad thing? If I did nothing wrong, if I am there legally I shouldn't be afraid to be asked a question eh? Maybe its just me? Maybe the white man is to blame for everything? Arizona has the balls to do what the last 5 presidents did not do, not just Obama, Moose, John McCain is running ads saying he is on the "front line" when it comes to illegal immigration, yet his party has held court 20-29 last years and have done NOTHING to stop the invasion. But go ahead and blame Obama, since everything is his fault right Moose? How about the Civil war, WW2 & WW1, Vietnam as well.. When will the blame stop.. ALL the past 5 Presidents are to blame.. ALL congress is to blame.. They don't work for us, they work for corporations & wealthy donors.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    So Moose Knuckles..
    You advocate illegal marriages along with WHAT OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES DO YOU SUPPORT?? An illegal working in this country has broken a number of laws beginning with illegal entry, identity theft, producing false documentation to get a job,aiding and abetting other illegals from being caught.. need I go on?? How many laws need they break before you think it's time to arrest and deport them? How about murder, then we can't deport them, instead we end up paying millions of dollars to keep them in jail for years!! Just out of curiosity.. how many illegals live in your house Moose Knuckles?? MOOSE KNUKLES..HMMM.. maybe your too ugly for even the illegals to stay around you?? Because your ideas about these illegals is sure as ugly as it can get!! WAKETHE F### UP!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. USMCIntel


    I am mad at ALL the Wall Street Elites. George Soros wanted Barack Obama elected. Goldman Sachs gave over $1,000,000 to the Obama campaign. The Kennedies are rich, John Kerry is Rich, Al Gore is worth $400,000,000 million now because he's perpatrating a fraud. Google Climategate. Go to France where 80% of their power is NUCLEAR.

    The Communist Chinese (who have murdered more people than Hitler or Stalin) are building a new coal fired power plant every month. They're developing all over Africa while stupid American leftists desparately try to take us back to the dark ages. Asia is laughing at you all the way to the bank. WAKE UP and look at what the rest of the world is doing, and then realize that Wall Street is not your enemy any more than the Obama administration is.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    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.

    Remember that the next time you visit Mexico and they detain you for jaywalking – all you'll need is $10k for "bail", and you can go free. Don't like it? Tough shit – YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS. Or does your racist-ass statement only apply to the "wrong" people?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SOLID D

    Do you people actually think this bill is about illegal immigration? This bill is about the upcoming election. The GOP, fearing a butt kicking in November, came up with this law to intimidate the mostly democratic hispanic people who are here legally and are qualified to vote. They know that some, especially the older people, have problems understanding the laws so they're banking on the majority of these people being too scared to go to the polls. From what I understand, a drivers license is not proof enough. Who the H e double L carries birth certificates or passport with them at all times? Who even has a passport? You people keep fooling yourselves into thinking that this is about immigration. By the way, if the police do make some arrests, who do you think they're going to get? The people who are only trying to make a living, that's who. The criminals have always and will continue to work in the dark so they will never get caught. It amazes me how the powers that be can easily manipulate the stupid and racist masses with something so bogus. IDIOTS!!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
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