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. Bmax

    Illegal is illegal. I will be happy to be stopped 10 times a day based on the effort I made legally to get here and additional effort to remain here. God Bless America!

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

    EDUCATE yourself people and read the BILL. The bill is racist. Many writing their comments are obviously very ignorant and racist people. It is quite clear (READ THE BILL) that a police officer can Stop anyone who he/she thinks has “reasonable suspicion” may be be illegal immigrant. The person does not have to commit any crime to be stopped; he or she just has to “look like” an illegal immigrant. Again, let me emphasize "Look Like" "suspect" "reasonable suspicion". I'm certain they will stop all Hispanic – Latin, Brown looking people. No one should be stopped in the street because of the color of their skin. This bill will not protect our borders or stop illegal immigration. This Law has another evil agenda with the Hispanic community in Arizona.

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

    I find it extremely ironic that some idiots are saying that all Europeans "immigrated here" therefore they should "go back". Guess what? A thousand years earlier the peoples of MesoAmerica immigrated there. So by your logic, they should "go back" to Siberia and the West Pacific Islands, correct?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TONY

    WE NEED SOME WHITE GUYS LIKE ME TO WORK IN THE FIELDS!!!!!TO WASH DISHES!!! TO MOP FLOORS!!! TO COOK FOOD!!!!!!
    PLENTY POSITIONS AVAILABLE...ANYBOY?????
    LET'S GET REAL GUYS!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lizely

    For all of you who enlarge your mouths, by saying "Yes only U.S Citizens should be allowed to be here" here is is fact for you: Unless you are a Native American (Indian) than you should be proud to say that you are a real a U.S citizen. If you are not, then you are as illegal as all of the other illegal immigrants in this country. The Native Americans whom your government placed in the reservations those are the real american citizens of this country. I will recommend to all of your racist people to look back into your roots to see where you ancestor really came from, and then tell me you still consider yourself a real U.S Citizen because I certainly don't feel like one, maybe because I am not a hipocrite.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    One final word before I leave here. This law has seriously question whether or not I even want to remain a US citizen. Not because of the law, but because of the people against it. It depresses me that every law enacted in this country, state or federal, immediately becomes a race issue. You know what, I get it, racism is wrong. Maybe if all the minorities stopped making everything about race, the country as a whole could move past it. There will ALWAYS be some number of racist idiots out there. But, I'm seriously tired of every minority making me out to be the boogeyman simply because I'm a white male who is looking out for himself. White, black, hispanic, asian, europian, canadian...i don't care. If you're here illegally, get out.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. old mexico

    In every other country, including Mexico and South America, you are required to keep proper documentation on you at all times. It is very difficult to travel across the border into these countries without proper visas, which require mountains of paperwork if you even want to live there for more than 3 months. So, don't think that the US is ganging up on anyone. This is how it is done all over the world, EXCEPT here. It is high time we start taking better care of our tax paying citizens.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hudis

    It is simple... coming here illegally one breaks a law. It is crime. Police officers needs a mechanism to be able to stop a person and check if they suspect that a person break a law. It's that simple.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. NotALemming

    Anna: Get an education, yourself. A cop can currently stop and question anyone that they have a "reasonable suspicion" of commiting ANY crime. This has NOTHING to do with race. It has to do with BEHAVIOR. All the law does is extend that to a normally Federal issue, because the Feds refuse to do anything about the problem....

    April 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Damian Latino

    LISTEN UP FOLKS!!!

    Most people in Arizona and in the US agree at some point NOT TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. That's fine with every one. Including myself. We should stop that right away. I bet Mexico border patrol kicks out Central America dudes like Guatemala, El Salvador, etc. the same way. There is no mystery here.

    The bad thing of this law is, for the police to acquire power and to stereotype latinos. That's the bad thing for those who are legal, US citizen with latino descendants or background. THAT"S THE BAD THING. I am fine to kick out all illegals and /or make them be legal to all of them , and let's have a fresh start.

    MY SOLUTION:
    -This issue belongs to US homeland security, and NOT to the police departments.
    If there are still illegals coming to our country, is because the system has failed or it's not working. It's the US homeland security's faults.
    So the key here is to create a NEW DEVELOPMENT PLAN to stop 100% illegals thought out the borders. We create atomic bombs, war planes with the latest technology and We can not create system to stop illegal immigration?? come on give me a break. If the system failed, it's the US government FAULTS, We as legal latinos why we should pay the price of their failure.

    LET HOMELAND SECURITY DO THEIR JOB, and POLICE DO THEIR JOB. VETO THE LAW

    April 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. deepblue6969

    Funny how all the supporters say "I don't care if I get stopped 10 times a day" or "I have no problems carrying my papers", that is until they put up roadblocks at 9am to catch all the illegals going to work. Guess what, Mr Whitey will be late to work just the same, he will then flip flop to say how bogus this law is and how it's inconveniencing him. I really do hope the cops in AZ go all out on this, full road blocks at 9am and 5pm. In fact, I want AZ to become one giant Airport screening station. I want to see a full totalitarian grid locked state! I will then laugh my @ss off!

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

    "LET HOMELAND SECURITY DO THEIR JOB, and POLICE DO THEIR JOB. VETO THE LAW"

    If they could or would do their job, this law never would have come to pass. The fact is they can't/won't.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MIKE.

    What is really disturbing is the amount of ignorance we americans show here!!!
    Not everybody is Mexican!!!!!IDIOTS.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim in San Mateo

    It's still about racial profiling. There is NO way around it. This law is not designed to round up illegal Canadian immigrants. It's designed for one reason and one reason only. I've yet to see definitive proof that illegals are getting services. It's all talk and has no basis in fact. Generally they are terrified of being caught so don't access medical care until it becomes a matter of life and death.

    If you want to give them a path to citizenship, do so, but don't institute racial profiling.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian in TX

    Good job, Lee Earle. I like the guestbook analogy.

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