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. Jose

    The Bill is necessary! No "Pun" intended, Having been born and raised in Texas, I understand the problem with illegal immigration. I am a retired Police Officer, and worked for twelve years in a public assistance program. The problem Illegal immigration creates is many. For example children attend school without their family paying taxes; this creates overcrowding, more work for our already overworked teachers. The language barriers slow the classes in order to accommodate the Spanish speakers; and that's just to name a few. A major problem is Social Security. Many undocumented individuals are given social security benefits without having contributed into the system. I feel this is wrong, as I and many other Americans have worked and contributed into the system during our working time. For someone to just come in from China, Vietnam, or in this case Mexico to have access, through a lawyer, is not right/fair! I could go on and on, but too many will find fault with my reasoning. I believe the countries these people from are responsible for the dilemma in the USA. In this case Mexico, should help their own. Mexico, has two classes Rich and Poor. There is virtually NO middle class! And, now with the drug problem raging there it's no wonder many are trying to escape the horrible situation there. If you're stopped, during a legal stop, like a traffic violation of some sort and you do not have any required documentation; driver's license, insurance, registration, etc... you are in violation, and you are further found out to be in the country illegally you should be investigated, and possibly sent back to your country of origin. Those of us born here should not feel discriminated against as we have nothing to hide being citizens and making sure we follow the laws of the land. I have relatives in Mexico, and I pray for them daily, but I would not assist anyone to violate the law. And, if any of them want to stay here, it should be done legally! I am lucky both my parents were born in the U.S. California, and New Mexico respectfully. I am a proud American, veteran. I don't always agree with everything that has occurred in this land, but I feel in this case U.S. of America First, and we can only hope the rest of the world pardons us for watching out for ourselves first.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DAVID


    April 28, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. deepblue6969

    ATTENTION all AZ visitors, don't forget to bring your Birth Certificates. Since illegals aren't a race, safe to say all people will be checked, no? Certainly there are white illegals from Europe that have over stayed their visas?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    RuthWillSetUFree-yes, I probably have unknowingly benefitted from illegal immigrants. I have no idea if the produce I buy was harvested by illegals. And, I have no realistic way of getting said info. It's not like these people fly a flag that says "hi, i'm here illegally!" Have I ever knowingly employed an illegal or supported it. No. I have in fact called Sheriff Joe a couple times to report day laborers at my local 7-11.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. john

    I will sum it up for those who are against this tremendous bill. Illegal Immigrant, that is all. Thank you and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Average Dude

    I'm sure that tea baggers & co. don't think it's a race issue after all, because those bigots probably don't even believe that all those hard working people are human beings to start with. Just like the Nazis did not consider Jews as people... History repeating itself.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. pacoder

    I just can't get over how ironic it is that the right wing tea party throwing health care hating freedom lovers who cry about how health care reform takes their freedom away don't complain at all about the patriot act and LOVE this bill. "Show me your papers"... you have given the police the right to do to ANYONE, what the nazis did to the jews. Lets make all citizens wear gold stars so we know who they are while we're at it.

    Quit hiding behind the skirts of freedom and show your true colors, it's ALL about the money to you. Bunch of disgusting hypocrites, it makes me ill.

    I'm ALL for doing something about illegal immigration, but NOT like this.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    As a white male AZ resident I will happily carry any papers the government asks me to at all times to prove my citizenship if it means the illegals go home. Hell, I'll put them in a clear plastic sleave and wear them around my neck or on my forehead.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James D. Macdonald

    I bet Lee Earle would sing a different tune if various cops stopped him eight times today and fifteen times tomorrow and asked him for proof of citizenship.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    What a bunch of "BS" If you really want to stop illegal immigration go after the people who are providing the jobs. OH, perhaps there is no stomach for that, but we can spend whatever it takes to guard and protect the border. LMAO

    April 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MH

    John Lupus said:
    "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."

    ... and we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...

    April 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CC

    While I disagree with the loose guidelines in the Arizona law which, although not explicitly, does allow for racial profiling, I do agree that we need to do something about the illegal immigration, which is unfair to those from other countries who don't have an easy way to steal into this country, many of which are much poorer than those from Mexico. The pro-illegal immigration side seems to like they enjoy being selective in their choice of words, constantly leaving out the illegal half of illegal immigration, preferring to categorize the illegal immigrants with the legal ones, who actually patiently, respectfully, and legally wait in line. The Arizona law should be overturned, and the federal government needs to step up to the plate and actually make the effort to prevent ILLEGAL immigration. I hate the attitude some posters here are making, saying the illegal immigrants deserve to be here more than a poor family from Africa or Asia. If you have traveled the world as I have, you would know that while the conditions in certain areas of Mexico are terrible, there are many regions in Africa and Asia that are downright despicable to live in. Everyone deserves a fair chance into our country, and stealing your way in illegally strikes me as extremely rude and selfish.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Abel

    I am tired of illegal immigrants breaking our laws and using our system. Marching in OUR streets demanding what they want and need, waving the MEXICAN flag!!!!!!!!! They do not respect our laws, and they do not respect our country! Get LEGAL or GET OUT!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chris

    This 'MOOSE" guy is a perfect example of why people make fun of uneducated republicans. Can't spell, uses no logic, clearly has no grasp on history or the constitution that he likes to 'cite.'

    You can't fight one wrong with another. And that's what the idiotic right is trying to do.

    If there was a legitimate way to control illegal immigration, WHY DIDN'T BUSH IMPLEMENT IT DURING HIS 8 YEARS IN OFFICE?

    OH, he was too busy bombing a bunch of innocent people and occupying their land to steal their oil? So he never got around to it?
    This is laughable. People try to blame everything on Obama when Bush just left office less than 2 years ago after being in there for almost a decade.
    He didn't do ANYTHING about immigration but you guys were OK with that?
    Laughable. No wonder the republicans hate the 'baggers. Can't wait until 2012 rolls around and the 'baggers spoil the republicans' chances of winning any elections.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bob

    Hmm, seems to me europeans did not settle in america with the legal permission of the native american people who were then rounded up and placed in reservations. how about a little history... look, we are all human beings, let's start treating each other that way. it saddens me that dogs get better treatment than people.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
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