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. RobertShaw

    Arizona is the worst!

    1) Refused to recognize MLK Day until 1992, after the NFL yanked the Super Bowl from them.

    2) They still refuse to recognize Daylight Savings Time. Why? Just to mess with Fed Ex I guess.

    3) Their state university refused to give President Obama an honorary degree, claiming he hadn't accomplished enough... hello? Being elected President of the United States? An example of someone they did give one to - Kim Campbell: Canada's 19th prime minister, received an honorary degree in 2005.

    4) Gave us McCain... who cynically gave us Sarah Palin. Yuck.

    5) And now they have given us this cynical, Nazi-like piece of profiling legislation that some of AZ's own sheriffs are calling ridiculous.

    Arizona is the WORST!!!!

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

    While I am a loyal democrat, I have to side on the Arizona legislatures side. This law was deveoped and passed through the democratic process. It is the will of the elected goverment of the people of Arizona.Also the law is a matter of doing something in the absence of enforcement of the federal goverment's existomg laws.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AntiObaMao

    Everyone is protected under the constitution. Everyone can also be prosecuted under the law. Illegal immigration is breaking a federal law and must be enforced.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. candi

    Did the pioneers who came from Europe in have documents to prove they were legal citizens?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pat

    Hey Dan – everything in this country is about race. Some idiot reminded me of it just the other day when he used the N-word in front of my 8 year old granddaughter. It's you white people who won't let us forget it, so give me a break. Get over yourself!

    April 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Keith

    Hey Bruce you need to get off the OBAMA cool aid. How did your left wing opinions start on hating the TEA PARTY? This conversation is about what the Government can’t provide. But you only want to continue bash the Tea party because they are so opposite of your views. Keep living in your mothers basement and collect your Obama check each week.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Guest

    460,000 illegals in Arizona... do you think they all crossed the border through the desert??

    April 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Diego

    Don't you supporters realize just how un-American it is to force the citizens of our country to carry "papers" with them to prove they are citizens. The majority of the people that support this legislation are those who will never have to worry about being harrassed. If they were brown, or spoke Espanol, and had to spend a night in jail for not proving that they're citizens, they might just change their tune.

    Wake up Conservatives. Aren't you the ones claiming that the government has too much power and that everything the government gets involved in is mismanaged? Why do you want to give them more power and more opportunity to screw things up?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. FLKinCO

    I salute you Arizona. You're the only state to finally take a stand and show the temerity to pass a law such as this...something the Feds simply ignore. That's the key issue here for me. AZ passed this law in part to get the idiots in the US congress to finally act. They didn't want to pass this law, they had to.

    Hopefully now the US congress will get off their butts and do something to enforce the existing laws as they should be. Obama and his minions have simply put their heads in the sand regarding this issue. Thanks for taking a stand Arizona. I wish the state of CO had the balls to do something about this too.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andy B

    Bruce, you are a simpleton. This law is designed to enforce existing laws. Sometimes people get pulled over in roadblocks to see if they have been drinking. Whereas I have not been drinking, I don't mind, they let me on my way. If you cannot prove you belong here, how do we know you are not here intending to do harm (we have a few enemies in the Middle East). Either you support terrorism and their objectives (which I believe is actually the case here), or you are a complete ignorant fool that should be deported himself for being too stupid to reside here. Bruce, go back to your cave, Osama wants you home.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sandy

    Looking forward to this Racist Law being thrown out. Can't wait!! All the racist and bigots will have to find another plan. Go Latinos!!! According to the census bureau's statistics, people who regard themselves as Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will become the majority in American. Si Se Puede!! Ha!! WooHoo. Your out of luck Arizona.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jujumax

    arizona is making an ass out of itself

    April 28, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sandy

    HURRAY for Arizona. Keep up the good work. Kudos for having the guts to do this since the federal government does not. ILLEGAL is ILLEGAL. Period. Come in legally and you'll be welcome with open arms. Otherwise, STAY OUT. Any illegal alien from any country puts a tremendous strain on our economy. And, if they're not doing anything wrong, they probably won't get harassed, even if they are illegal. Figure it out.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. joe bob

    jim,

    how many canadian illegals are there running around in arizona? i'm sorry you are offended by the fact that probably 98% of the illegal immigrants in arizona are from mexico. if there were another group of illegal immigrants that were having a detrimental effect on our schools, economy, and healthcare, they would be just as likely to be deported.

    illegal is illegal. if they come over here illegally, they have to deal with the consequences. and please spare me with the whole violation of rights for having to show an ID. does this mean i should get offended when i am asked to show my ticket when i go to a football game? should i be offended when a police officer wants to see my license and proof of insurance? should i be offended because i get carded buying beer because i look younger than 30?

    they are not violations of anybody's rights. at the very most they are inconveniences.

    oh, and the last thing. people, before you start making any references to nazi germany, hitler, or the 4th reich, please read a history book. talk to somebody who survived the holocaust. learn something about nazi germany or the holocaust before you talk about it. when you make these comparisons, not only are you looking very ignorant and ridiculous. you are also taking away from the horrors of that time. rounding up and killing jewish people has nothing to do with asking to see some identification. all the politicians and people who make these references should be ashamed of themselves.

    all of you be well.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mil

    How about... they make it so that every person the cops have to pull over/question for whatever reason have to prove that they are legal/naturalized/American-born citizens? Sure, it would be a hassle for most people since the majority is not the problem, but at least it would be fair. Then they can catch all the Arabic/Asian/Canadian/Hispanic illegals that may have not looked "illegal enough" under this law!

    April 28, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
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