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. Mark

    Perhaps instead of calling it "racial profiling", they could call it "realistic profiling". How many blond haired Swedes do you see sneaking across the border to come in to this country illegally? On the T.V. show Criminal Intent, it's O.K. to profile people, but not in real life.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Heilama

    I notice that is mostly white and mostly Republicans that are getting on the wagon against immigration. True, I do agree that people should establish themselves legally in this country. I am a legal resident and I came into this country legally. However, to profile someone because they look Hispanic and a HIspanic who is legal in this country have to be toting proof of residency or proof of citizenship, is crazy. We came here because of "freedom" not to be asked for proof of being legal while I am drinking coffee at the coffee shop, or on my way to work or grocery shopping and believe you be, as racist as cops are and how they love to profile blacks and Hispanics as automatically "criminals", that will just give them license to do what they do best; harass people –the legal way.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jessica

    My concern with those who say "Those who are here legally have nothing to fear." is that it is the exact same as those who said "If you have nothing to hide, why are you worried about wire taps and internet privacy?" And yet every time we allow the government (which so many are shouting about being too involved in our lives now) to step over one of these lines, we are setting standards that are not easily backed away from.

    Does my husband have anything to fear if he's stopped while driving through Arizona just because he's half-Hispanic? No. Do I have any reason to worry if the government is listening in on my phone conversations? No. Does that mean it's right? No. We are setting up laws that have the potential to give a corrupt administrator power to do horrible things... and it be completely legal.

    Immigration laws absolutely need to be toughened up. Nothing makes my husband more angry than illegal immigrants, because his grandparents came here and did it the right way. But this law simply isn't the best way to do it. It seems knee-jerk and too general.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John from Sacramento

    AMEN! Final CNN posts a viewpoint that is in favor of the new law. It sure took them long enough...

    April 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Midwest

    This law will fail once it becomes obvious that it will be used against U.S. citizens who are Hispanic and not carrying their birth certificates with them at all times.

    Stop businesses from hiring illegal aliens and the problem of undocumented workers ENDS.

    This is a problem started and powered by the exploitation of illegal aliens by business owners that love their cheap hourly rate and docile nature.

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

    @colorado kid, It's probably not your state dealing with this issue like AZ. It's not your citizens being affected with the violence at the border. This is an AZ issue, not an New Mexico, California, or Texas issue. Those citizens of other states who want to legislate or judge what's right for Arizona and it's "Legal Citizens" from afar... Butt-OUT!!! Why don't you open your borders to receive these Federal law breaking criminals (which the Fed will not enforce)....Hell AZ will even ship em to ya! What's your address?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff V

    Under this law immigrant that have legal status in this country can get up to six months in jail for not having documents on them proving they are legal. What if you where born in this country and forgot or don't have a drivers license when you are stopped. also under this bill the state can sue law enforcement agencies that do not enforce this law. if you are a legal immigrant in this country or a Hispanic American born in this country you will be harassed by law enforcement under this bill.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ronald Racist

    The only citizens being protected is the white power people there noone else

    April 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Harry

    First off, what does and illegal alien look like? If they are caught, they may be subject to a $500 fine (good luck w/ collecting that.) Also they may face six months in jail (are AZ's taxpayers willing to foot that bill?) What if they don't pay the fine, are they going to keep them in jail for 12 months? This will cause immigrants not to report crimes against them or citizens.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DEE TX

    So I have a question did the white man ever ask the indians what they had to do to become legal on there land no I believe you guys stole it!!!!!!!! I think the law is really misguided. Its going to cause alot of problems in the state of AZ i hope it doesn't but i really think it will!!!!!!!!!! Something must be done to correct the problem but that law isn't it!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. DAVID


    April 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ar1060

    Is laws like this that make me glad Americans cannot own property in Mexico...and the kidnapping of them in foreign countries

    April 28, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GianCarlo

    Illegal immigration is like the drug wars. We keep buying the drugs, the drug lords will continue to smuggle them in. The same is with illigal immigration, we keep giving them jobs, they will continue to come. How about we stop everyone we suspect that they have drugs on them. How about we do that?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ronald Racist

    Any of you peice poo whities ready to do bloodshedding battle let me know Im your enemy. Lets get it on!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jose Morales

    Just HATE talking points..

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