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. Deborah

    I am from AZ and my father works for immigration. If someone is not a legal citizen and caught doing something illegal they don't go free. They go to an immigration jail and get sent home. People in this forum seem to think this new law will accomplish what is already being done. What this new law does do is gives police the power to walk up to people based only on appearance and start asking questions. The notion that "illegal doesn't have a race" is ridiculous and if that is they case what is the purpose of this law? Everyone here is misinformed if they believe this new law doesn't entail profiling. People that aren't illegal are upset about this law because it means police can now walk up to ME and ask me questions because solely on color of my skin.

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

    he problem with this law is the Chicanas-American born Mexicans. There are thousands of LEGAL Mexicans in the state of Arizona as well as Native Americans (some tribes native to the southwest look identical to Mexicans) all of these innocent citizens could be forcible detained for up to 24 hours until they show their papers. Problem is if your an american born citizen with mexican heritage YOU DONT HAVE PAPERS...you are a citizen who looks like an illegal. think about the indignity of being detained by the police having to explain to your employer why you were in a holding cell overnight, or a mother who has no one to care for her children when she is "detained" until she is proven a citizen. I am a Caucasian female with English and German heritage, yet my short stature, dark skin and hair has me often mistaken for a Mexican....this now means I have to worry every time I step out my door i could be accused of being an illegal. This law is unenforceable because we do not have enough holding cells in the ENTIRE COUNTRY to hold all those who might be illegal Mexicans. I agree we have border issues, but this is not the way to handle things. Mexicans are no the only ones sneaking over the US/Mexico border...frequently N. Koreans and other nationalities cross there as well. So are we now going to question every person who lives in this state? Will everyone have to have "papers" proving citizenship...even if they are born here? How do we determine what is "reasonable suspicions" that someone is illegal. Yet after all i have said I can think of no solution. Fences don't work, Minutemen don't work, border "security" doesn't work. Perhaps we should try something new? Like actively working with the Mexican goverment to see progress in that nation so illegal don't have to migrate here. While I feel people should come here legally if you look at the conditions most people live in in Mexico then you would see...they do not all come here with arrogance, it is an act of desperation and undying hope. Not unlike alot of the first American settlers.

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

    To Andrew (#186)

    The founders never fathomed that we'd be stupid enough to pay people unemployment benefits for 20+ months! That's the government paying you to look for a job (or do nothing) for over a year!!! So I sit on my ass for 18 months and then give it the old college try for 2 months and I'm good. . . . duh.

    The founders would look at this situation, decide that Mexico was invading us, and they would declare on Mexico. Then they'd eliminate welfare, social security, and a ton of other government waste becuase they'd be smart enough to know that you CAN'T SPEND MONEY THAT DOESN'T EXIST.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JH

    The stupidity of these tea party supporters continually amazes me

    April 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sheik Yerbouti

    To MOOSE:

    You embarrass me that I am on the same side of the issue you are. You are an inarticulate cyber-bully and give those on the "stop punishing illegal aliens" side ammunition with your borderline racist diatribes.

    Please join the other side.

    To Hawaiikaos:

    I think you are being to PC by insisting that they are "undocumented" and not "illegal". That would be like saying "I relocated a person from the realm of the living" instead of "I killed someone".

    Your points about Kennedy et. al. totally screwing up immigration is a bulls eye. Our politicians keep getting this wrong, because both sides recognize Hispanics as the largest growing voter block in the US. For them it's all about staying in power – and that's both parties.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DAVID


    April 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rolando Z Garcia An american Marine

    what is it that people don't understand, illegals are criminal they came into this country
    they broke our law, mexican or any other race. check out the social security office in the
    morning, wic/stores and welfare offices. our schools over run with illegals and also our
    college and trading school and who pay for this. its about time someone did something
    and had the gut to follow it all the way. Our own Obama at a recent community meeting
    said that he is calling on all Latino and black to unite and support he, now is this not racial.
    what happen to geting all American to work together. so if you are not latino and black then
    you are left out in his own vision of America. I'm American with proud parent that came
    from Mexico and Spain, that show us the way and beauty of the free country. and why don't they go back to Mexico and fight for thier rights. i feel for the children of the illegal
    that thier parent are criminal. Mexico Presidents has no right to speak about our problem
    with his illegals, where are the jobs, health care and opportinuity for them to stay and
    work in Mexico. you steal our money, our culture,our schools and jobs. Proud to be
    American/Latino/Chicano/mexican or what ever name you want to call me. don't be mislead
    by the washignton radical politician to start a race riot. God Bless Arizone and its Americans

    April 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike in MN

    Hurray for legalized racial profiling. I'll agree that illegal immigration is out of hand and needs to be addressed but this bill does nothing to prevent business from hiring the cheap labor that illegal immigrants represent. As long as business continue to hire illegals this problem will not go away. Make sure there's no jobs for illegals and they'll have less reasons to come here illegally.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. King James

    oh so they should sign the guest book like the piligrims did eh? you know, when the american indians asked the pilgrims to sign the guest book what they got was a musket to the face, and a death marth to the reservations

    maybe we should march the tea partiers off to some reservations,

    April 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Vickster

    How does "illegal" not have a race when everyone is knows we are referring to Mexicans, who have brown skin. As a white person, I have nothing to fear because yes I'm a citizen and I'm white. They don't know I'm a citizen but will assume so because I am white. They have "reasonable suspicion" that a person who looks Mexican i.e. brown may not be here legalling. So answer this, I really don't see how they can say they won't go based on race, when this law targets a race specifically.

    I'm all for immigration reform, but not like this.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jimbob

    First, they came for the hispanic illegals; then, they will come for the blacks and asians. If no one stands up to them, they will come for you too.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jim C

    If it was up to me, I'd ship the lot of anti-immigrants back to Europe or Asia or Africa. We're all here illegally, on some level, except for Native Americans.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DAVID


    April 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Victor

    I'm all for enforcing current immigration laws, but most of you have completely ignored the millions of US citizens of Hispanic descent that could be affected by this law. Reasonable suspicion of unlawful status in this situation could only be determine by traits that are immutable on many of us. As a US citizen I should not have to carry my US passport when traveling within my country. This law is offensive and so is your attitude. I graduated from law school and have done everything I can to live an honorable and productive life. This new law is not only unconstitutional, it is a slap on the face to millions of US citizens like me who work very hard to be productive members of society.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ronald Racist

    This 2 Lee Earle, and Ronald Ludders of Phoenix have just exposed themselves to the hit list what a bumch of morons wow!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
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