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. JohnK

    Hello, Can i order a Chicken Burito please?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rational thought

    Riiiiight Pat because Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have NOTHING to do with furthering the race card here in America. To blame "everything is race" in the US on whites is ignorant and silly

    April 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    What is wrong with our media in this country? CNN jumps all over someone who wants to enforce a law. What the media should be doing is finding out why the fed goverment is not enforing these laws. I am a citizen and if I don't pay my taxes I will be arrestted. So why is it if your breaking a law it's ok as long as your not a citizen. Enforce the laws or change them!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CC

    The Arizona law is wrong, but something should really be done about illegal immigration. To candi, what the Europeans did was wrong, as you would agree, so your statement basically implies that this is wrong too. That's like a kid doing something wrong and telling his mom, "But ___ did it too!" Two wrongs don't make a right, and it speaks tons towards how people view those already here when they do it like that.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joe Bloom

    Hey Arizona:
    If you don't belong to the Navajo nation or other REAL American groups then YOU are the illegal immigrant.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe bob


    i hate to tell you this, but we all have to show forms of identification all the time. drivers licenses. social security cards. passports. birth certificates. etc.

    should we be bothered by that? grow up, please.

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

    I live in DC and here is how my day went and I am perfectly fine with it.

    Got up and drove into work, got pulled over for speeding. Had to show my license. Got to work, getting into work I had to enter the garage where my car was searched and I had to provide my ID. For lunch I went across the street for food, when I re-entered the building, I had to go through a scanner, have my bag searched and provide ID. When I went home that night, I stopped at the liquor store to buy a bottle of booze, had to show my ID. Then went to the grocery store, wrote a check and had to show ID.

    Did not complain once about showing ID. Whats everyone complaining about ?

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

    "Nazi's rounded up as many Jews as they could get their hands on, loaded them in cattle cars, marched them in to large "

    Yes, that's exactly what supporters of this bill want to do, they just want to replace the word 'jews' with the word "illegal immigrant".

    It's the SAME EXACT THING. First came the 'round up', next came the exterminate. You are an absolute MORON or LIAR if you don't think this is very similar to what happened in Nazi Germany.

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

    I am a liberal who tends to vote democrat. I agreed with the healthcare overhaul and still support the President. I am educated also. So this means I must abhor this AZ law, that would be the assumption. I (as well as many other liberal Americans it would seem) embrace this law. They are here illegally and should be sent back and when they enter legally they need to assimilate, the Constitution was not written in Spanish. As far as giving them amnesty and documenting them because they do the jobs we will not is a complete fallacy. They work these jobs because they are undocumented. Once they are recognized as "American Citizens" they will quit these jobs and seek out more gainful employment. Once they get turned away from these better jobs because they cannot speak the language here they will claim discrimination as would be their right now as a citizen of the US. Please do not think for a minute that this would not happen. I am not a rascist but live in a citrus producing area in Florida filled with illegal aliens, in fact our Sherrif, Gary Borders, already rounds up illgals and turns them over to ICE all the time, he made national news for it. They use the emergency room like a personal physician and since there is no SS number or ID we foot the bill, they collect emergency food benefits, and use the education system as a daycare. Amnesty is not the answer. Deporting does not help either. Harsher penalties, bigger fences, and increased policing would help. I see people stopped here all the time for DWB (driving while black), it is a reality regardless and most, though they do not like it, would agree. If the Tea Party turns to this direction and changes course actually becoming an organization of reform then I would gladly sign up, but that remains to be seen.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. 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 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jon S.

    Wow. This thread shows how ignorant and embarrassing Americans are. Why not shoot immigrants into space? The hysteria of the GOP is only surpassed by the hysteria of the tea party – though it would seem they are becoming one and the same.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    Comparing Arizona law to Nazi? Wow your left wing opinions are so typical. The left always is playing the race card. Arizona is not against the Latino or Mexican community. We are against the illegals the come into the country. What most of the country doesn't realize there are not just Mexicans crossing the boarder. But people from Asia and Eastern Europe as well. This law is not about race it is clear and if people took the time to read the new law then they would figure it out. Now if these protesters would use that same passion that are protesting in AZ and go protest at the Whitehouse it would do a world of good. The Government is at fault and not Arizona or any other State that will follow this new law.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jujumax

    az should be proud? of what? hating?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dont Tread On Me

    Why is it there are so many Americans fighting to keep illegal immigrants from Mexico in our country? We get in this mind set that just because they share our boarders we should not be so hard on them and because of the living conditions in their country we should be more humane and understanding. There are hundreds of thousands of people being killed in Darfur and other parts of Africa due to ethnic cleansing but you do not see us opening up our boarders to them and saying come on over we will take care of you. How many times have we found boats of Cubans and Haitians floating off our coastlines and the only thing they get greeted with is a one way ticket back home. Please explain to me why we should in force the rules for some but not others.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TS

    Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship, so if he was in Arizona = ilegal ????

    April 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
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