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. Scott

    The worst part is requiring people to have documentation on their person 24/7. These papers for leagal immigrants belong in a Safe deposit box, not in a pocket where they can easily be stolen (and used by an illegal)

    April 28, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Palehorse

    Instead of creating draconian laws it would seem to me the state of AZ would be better served in enforcing the laws already on the books. 50% of AZ employers have illegal aliens working for them. Why are they not confirming a prospective employee's citizenship or immigration status BEFORE employing them and providing them means to stay????

    In 1996 there were an estimated 120,000 canadian illegal immigrants in this country. Are we going to treat them the same way??? I doubt it.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    Not sure what is the worse state of affairs, the immigration debate or the total lack of basic education of some the posters on this board. Andrew, do you not understand how taxes are paid? Do you get paid in cash at your job? If you think that illegals only work for under the table cash, you're totally naive. They pay for fraudulent social security cards and get jobs at legitimate businesses and they have taxes withheld just like the rest of us.

    You don't pay your taxes on April 15th, you just do a quick reconciliation...

    And I think most of us want to enforce and strengthen the immigration laws that we already have, but you can't do that without significant cost, which means higher taxes. You can't have it both ways.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrew

    So Peter/Pedro
    Is it fair for the ILLEGALS to drive up the cost of public services for the tax paying citizens. Because they use the services and dont pay a dime into it. So instead of hurting their feelings and asking for ID, we should continue to sccrew the tax paying citizens by having them shoulder the load of cost?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rob

    anyone ever get pulled over by the police in mexico??? i have, and fortunately i had enough $20 bills in my wallet to be released, and by the way, i had a tail light out of service... i have seen the federales stop the baja1000 SCORE race and demand money from the race drivers... what the hell???

    April 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. I can see John McCain's condo from my house

    Huh and I thought the Tea Party was against big government. What this bill does is allow police officers to stop someone if they are here illegaly. So since most illegals are of hispanic descent this allows the police officers to pull someone over based on their looks (racial profiling) at the same time infringing on the legal and US Born hispanics constitutional rights by allowing the officers to pull them over if they have probable cause that they are here illegaly of course by profiling. This bill is not good for anyone and will cost millions in lawsuits againsts the State of Arizona and of course my tax money again down the drain for no reason but thats what happens here in Arizona.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. john

    This is the United States of America, not the Red Cross. We aren't running a soup kitchen here. Let me know when the last illegal has been booted out of this country.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Louis

    This is EXACTLY what led to rounding up jews in Nazi Germany, which is EXACTLY what preceeded gas chambers.

    Arizona, home to the new age nazi's.

    I want immigration reform, and certainly don't want to be paying for illegal's. However, this is nothing less then a racially charged law that permits harrassment and can easily lead to a nazi germany mentality. There's a better way to do this.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Safety First

    The law is well intended, but will inevitably be abused by law enforcement. Its a green light to pull over anybody who fits the description. Unlikely they'll be pulling over any European 'suspects'.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. adriana

    What papers prove citizenship? If I'm pulled over and questioned, they will have to arrest me on the basis of suspicion of being an illegal. My driver's license will not prove anything as illegals can get them. A social security card (not recommended to be carried due to the risk of identity theft) will not prove anything as illegals can get them. A certified original birth certificate would be the only thing to do the trick, maybe. So...in Arizona, citizens will be required to show certified birth certificates or other naturalization papers or green cards. Well, welcome to Nazi Germany, folks. And to think the Tea Partyists paint OBAMA as Hitler!! Irony doesn't begin to cover this.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. d. McCarthy


    April 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mg

    All the supporters of this cannot get it through their thick skulls that those against this are all for LEGAL immigration but against the MANNER this is being done. The comments of “Illegal is not a race" is downright STUPID. I didn't know LEGALS and ILLEGALS got their foreheads stamped at the door. The other thing that is quite interesting is that illegals have been coming in for decades but suddenly it has become America's biggest ill. Clearly this is nothing more than a political issue meant to further divide people in this country. They want to make it seem as if you are against this law then you are all for illegals streaming into this country. Judging by all the comments saying that AZ is doing what the Feds can't, the Teabagging Republicans have done an excellent job at casting doubt on the Fed Gov't and by extension Obama. Fact is Bush Jr and Bush Sr did nothing about immigration. Regan granted amnesty to thousands of Nicaraguans in the US illegally back in the 80s so since when have the Republicans been so concerned with illegal immigration? Seems like with Obama in power, their strategy is all about creating racial tensions between Whites and everybody else. Just take a look at the other controversy the idiot out in Alabama is creating if you have any doubts.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. RuthWillSetUFree

    dan– they are working for low wages with no rights. whoever is employing them, is stealing from them. whoever is buying from said employers is also stealing from them. have you never benefitted from illegal immigrants' labor? you've never been to a restaurant, bought a house, eaten an orange that you know was not the product of illegal labor?

    without illegals, prices in us would skyrocket. the price of milk, fruit, beef, construction– everything that is produced by illegal labor would jump. just remember to consider both sides of the equation when you judge who is stealing from whom.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. john

    If you see 9 hispanics in a honda civic you know they are illegal.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tommy ALBQ,NM

    Any illegal Mexican alien should be dealt with in the same manner an Mexico would do to an illegal in their country, The operative words in this issue is legal and illegal, Race is not and should not be a factor, we must stop the parasitic insidious reconquest of the American SW.
    Have the American people become so timid as to allow illegal immigrants to dictate our national policies,

    April 28, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
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