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. Luke

    Louis, Well said!

    April 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rob

    An officer can usually pull over any US citizen and harass them for whatever reason. About 10 years ago I was pulled over at 4:00am (I worked nights at the time and that wasn't unusual for me) because I didn't use my signal for changing lanes, me and the cop were the only two vehicles on the road, and he was about 50 feet behind me. So all this law is going to do is if you look like a certain person/race, the cop will look for a reason to pull you over and harass you. Didn't the Nazis do this several decades ago as well?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    "Thanks a lot, teabaggers."

    I second this notion but without the sarcasm.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 1ProudLatina

    How dense can people be???? Forgive them God for they no not what they say or do!!! Being stopped and asked for your ID because you were speeding is understandable. What's not, is being carded to prove your citizenship within your OWN COUNTRY!!! About Hispanic Americans not being able to roam free just like everybody else without the fear of being harassed or jailed for not carrying their proof of citizenship!!! That is the point! Get it now???

    April 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brenda

    You know guys, social security has a program for employers that checks if someone is legal. If they were required to use it, there wouldn't be a problem.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RALPH


    April 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pat

    Bigots!!! All of you. I don't like having people come here illegally and being offered and given access to services that could very well go to legal citizens of this country. But I find a lot of your rhetoric very disturbing. It sounds suspiciously like the venomous language of the sixties against African Americans. I'm a 60 year old African American woman, and I find all of this very distasteful. I don't care what words you have for it or what name you give it; it is racial profiling, and that's just wrong. This bill only allows law enforcement officers who already have an axe to grind against minorities, to use unfair tactics against people who already have no voice. Shame on you Airizona.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris


    April 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mele

    Why does everyone always blame our Presidents for everything?
    They are all just puppets being told what to do by who knows who!

    April 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    Obama is doing so much for all of us. He has already taken on this issue and will once again lead our Congress to a successful law for all people. Wall Street reform is happening as well. Next year, our troops in Iraq begin to come home. We are counting down the days.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Homer

    Let's see. Illegal immigration started in what? 1492. Thus both clowns pictured are illegal immigrants. What makes them on iota better than Mexican Pilgrims?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. NotALemming

    For all of you MORONS who are calling this "racial profiling", bear in mind that a majority of the cops in Arizona belong to a minority. So is it "racial profiling" when a Puerto Rican cop asks a group of day laborers for ID? I THINK NOT! Keep playing that race card. That is the only lame excuse you libtards have left....

    April 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CodeMonkee

    1ProudLatina – it's "know", not "no".

    April 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    we'll see. I'm reminded of Pete wilson and Prop 187. Never the less, what about cracking down on the people that hire illegal immigrants? And if you do that, are you willing to pay more for food? How about child care or construction? Willing to pay higher taxes to off-set the lawsuits when the police mistake a citizen or legal resident for an illegal immigrant?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Stephen

    There are a lot of people who do not understand that the constitution applies to any human being within the borders of the United States whether they be legal or illegal immigrants. All people are awarded a set of rights that allow them to live out of the shadow of tyrany. To say that the constitution does not apply to an illegal immigrant is false. If that were the case then you could hold an illegal immigrant as a slave or the police could illegally hold them without cause. This is obviously not the case, so please, educate yourself and stop saying that the constitution does not protect non-citizens.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
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