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. jujumax

    boycott arizona. mexicans been for a long time. even arizona is spanish word.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. joe bob

    i think california is fighting arizona over this in order to keep the mexicans out of their pristine back yards. the liberals over there feel that they have enough, so they want to keep them all in arizona.

    why don't all of you in favor of amnesty or maintaining the status quo take one of these illegal immigrant families home with you to feed, clothe, educate, and shelter. i think we would see a very quick change in your attitudes.


    April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CornCountry

    “Law enforcement will be looking for people who they have reasonable suspicion to believe are breaking the law."

    I think the problem that those who are against this law have is how do you identify someone who looks like an illegal alien. What are the characterisitcs ofan illegal allien? Is there a clearly identifiable behavior or personal trait? How does one act like an illegal allien? I would suggest the state of Arizona look for those people who welcome other people by saying "nanoo nanoo" and are from the planet Ork. Perhaps Robin Williams could donate his time to serve as the poster child?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Perplexified

    Of course illegal is illegal. I don't know a single person who thinks that we should just disregard citizenship law and allow people to do whatever they want. The issue with this bill is how they are suggesting weeding out illegals. You cannot look at an average American and think "hmmm, I should pull you over so you can prove your citizenship". We come in all colors and nationalities. And for all of the white people who do not think this is a bit deal. Practice empathy. I think you would feel very different if you were asked to proved your citizenship wherever you go.

    It's not about protecting illegals. It's about protecting American citizens from harassment.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Texan

    Ever wonder why there is a birth-right precendent to begin with? Why is it, America wanted "huddled masses" to come work here if you could get here? Achieve greatness through hard work if you could just get here like everyone's ancestors posting here? Why did it change? Because when slavery ended, the haters said okay, you're worthless to me as a human if I can't own you. Go back to Africa. So the law was changed – if you were born here, you were a citizen and could stay. Hate then, hate now. Funny how things come full-circle. And now the "illegals" do the underpaid work of the slave primarily in the south – toil in the fields, clean houses. The economy of the south still works the same way it always has. Take out the bottom base to the pyramid and watch what happens. it's pure capitolism – if there is a demand someone will fill it.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Julia

    Let me ask a question. How do you tell if a person is an illegal or legal immigrant? by the color of their skin of course. So what did the two men means when they said "they cannot stop them base on the color of their skin? Will a cop ever stop a White person for paper? No. Why? Because they look white and so the cops will assume they are not illegal immigrants.

    2nd question: What about American citizens from another race, like Asian, Indian, Hispanics? How can you tell apart an illegal person from a citizen of another race? As an Asian American, I could be stopped for paper. Where is my right?

    They said cop need to have "reasonable suspicion". What counts as reasonable? There are so many racist people out there, They could use this law as an excuse to target non-white looking people, including myself. Who should I turn for help then? Especially when the governor was the one that enforced it?

    How is this fair to legal immigrants and to me? Where is my right? I pay taxes, I contribute to society. But in return I get this law?

    If American want to stop illegals from flowing in, by all mean fine. But this isn't the right way at all. Not only will the law be targeting illegal immigrants but all legal immigrants as well...even if that wasn't the purpose. But people will abuse it...that's human nature.

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

    You idiots will cry "racism" any time someone thinks any law should be enacted or enforced. It is falling on deaf ears, anymore....

    April 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Diego

    You are wrong in saying that undocumented aliens in our country aren't protected by the Constitution. Educate yourself so you don't sound so clueless. Any person in this country, no matter how or when they got here, has rights guaranteed under our US Constitution.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    Wow, have you ever read the constitution? It specifically speaks to rights of people. PEOPLE. Naturally citizens have specific rights, but all people have unaliable rights. Man, I swear...ignorance.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. vpa

    Illegal immigration got to stop!!!

    But bill is very serious and creates civil liberty issues. Forget about immigrants... Any *hypothetical-resentful* cop can ask anybody for papers. And most probably, a citizen is not going to carry the citizenship papers which will result in arrest of that citizen. And there is not going to be any recourse!!!

    Funny part is that *individual freedom lovers* and people who want the government out of their life are the same people rooting for this law... ironic...

    April 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CC

    The difference between this situation and with the Native Americans, is that the Native Americans and Europeans got along well until the Europeans started taking the natives' own lands. The natives let them settle on land that the natives weren't using. Similarly, we allow immigrants to come in legally. However, when they start being disrespectful of our rules for entry, just as the Europeans were disrespectful towards the natives, clearly there's something wrong with that. No one is arguing that what the Europeans did was wrong, so does that make what the illegals are doing right? Two wrongs don't make a right. You can't change the past, but you can make amends and correct it for the future. Knowing something is illegal beforehand and doing it anyways is wrong. Allowing it to happen unchecked sets a dangerous precedent. If I have a hungry family to feed, can I rob a bank to do it, as long as I'm not hurting anyone? Illegal is illegal, adding a right or wrong situation to do something illegally is stretching it.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rational thought

    Oh and those throwing around the whole "this is reminiscent of what the Nazi's did to the Jews" are showing how mind blowingly ignorant you are. Its using a dramatic event in history to try and drum up support against this bill and its disgusting and wrong. Nazi's rounded up as many Jews as they could get their hands on, loaded them in cattle cars, marched them in to large "showers" and exterminated them. And you are comparing this bill to THAT? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves. People like you disgust me.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. itzjuswrong

    I think is terrible that they think they can have 76,000 illegals sign a petition to stop our law. They have no rights in the country or our State. If just over 70% of the legal American citizens and Arizona residents & voters agree with the signing of our new law, what makes them think that a small bunch of illegals can get it changed.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jujumax

    too much out of work pissed off trash in az. mexicans been here too long. learn to love it.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul

    Illegal is illegal. I would like allthe cops in AZ to go into every restaurant in Phoenix and ask to see all the I-9 forms singed by the business owners and then arrest the ones who dont have them for their workers. I would then like the IRS to go over the books of these business owners and fine and jail them for tax evasion for not paying ss tax for paying people under the table. If AZ is going to take over the fed's job then do it right.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
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