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. taylored

    Bruce-You don't like Arizona doing the Fed's job. So if theFed's enforced the laws that are already on the books and are similar to Arizona's or if they pass new laws I guess that is ok.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Roland

    if you are from another state condemming Arizona, then please take all the illegals out of Arizona and put them in your state and support them.

    And if you are the U.S. Government representing all the people EQUALLY,
    then make a law condemming all ACTIVIST representing a particular race.
    Activist should all be arrested just as quick as racist.
    We should all be treated equal, not one should be above the other.
    There should have never been allowed any organizations to promote one race above the other.
    And that includes white suppremist, black supremist, and mexican or latino suppremist.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Observer

    if AZ really wanted this to be about immigration then all they need to do is replace "reasonably suspicious" of being illegal to ALL AZ citizens MUST carry proof of citizenship when pulled over. NO EXCEPTIONS...most people would not object to this bill.

    wait for it....wait for it....

    .i can just hear the conservatives crying about their constitutional rights about having to show ID for citizenship but it is alright for the Mexican Americans to produce ID but not for them.......

    April 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. baz987

    If you read the Immigration Act closely, The U.S. attorney has the authority to give local law enforcemnt the OK to enforce immigration laws. It partly states "that if a mass influx of immigrants close to the border enetr the U.S. the attorney general may authorize local law enforcement to enforce the laws'. I would say a good many of the 10-12 million illegal immigratnts entered thru our southern border. That classifes as a mass influx! So go Arizona. U.S. attorney or not, enforce the laws. Fedreal gov't is and has been cowering to ceratin votoing blocs. They have a duty and responsiblity to Amercian citizens, not foreigners who entered illegally. There is no more American dream. It's turning into a nightmare when illegal immigrants and those who agree with the lawbreakers have more influence than American citizens.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Moose

    So Lisa - following your logic....if I killed someone 15 years ago (aka BROKE THE LAW!!!) but I haven't bothered anyone in the past 15 years, then you should give me a pass.

    Newsflash: Most ILLEGAL MEXICANS DON'T pay taxes!!! HA!!!!

    Here's the bottom line - if you're here from Mexico illegally, then there's the door. Go back out, ring my doorbell, and we can discuss whetehr I want you in my house. It's really that simple.

    But when you come into my home and start DEMANDING FREE SERVICES and then set up groups like "THE RACE" - oooops, sorry..."La Raza", then you can make your way to the door and get out. Wouldn't that be weird if a WHITE group called themselves "THE RACE"? I know, that would be so weird. I'm sure no one would complain about that.


    April 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Barry

    I am NOT an American, so I am NEITHER Democrat nor Republican....and perhaps can see this a little more clearly than some....

    It would seem that SOME people in the U.S. neet to go back to school and take Civics classes to be able to see the difference between LEGAL and ILLEGAL. Or, if as it really appears, "journalists", politicians and "activists" are simply LYING about a bill that apparently doesn't even come into effect for several MONTHS....perhaps they should take ETHICS classes as well.

    LEGAL Immigrants are the backbone of North American society.....ILLEGAL Immigration is BREAKING THE BACK of North American Society...it's as SIMPLE as that.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. j.p.drabier


    April 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MizzT

    I'm Hispanic, but I agree everyone needs to come legally. But what about the hundreds of thousands that initially come legally on work or student visas that the INS seems to forget. There are many illigals here that started out correctly that need to even more so. They are the ones taking the better jobs in our country, they're not picking fruit or working as dishwashers. We allowed the to be educated here so they do qualify for better paying possitions and then we forget they're even here. We need to make this an equal oppertunity and check the status of everyone, not just the people that look HIspanic. Illigals can look like Jim Carey, Pamala Anderson and Kathy Griffen as well.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. john in Cal

    I've always felt that we live under the rule of law. These laws were introduced and voted on to protect our way of life in the hopes that these laws would allow us to live together more peacefully. All must submit to these laws, just as you would to another countries laws while there. States have the right to make their own laws so long as they don't supercede federal laws. This is to insure equal protection for all states. I agree that for many years-to many to count – our government has not enforced certain laws on the books strongly enough. There may be certain reasons for that such as corporations needing the cheap labor force. They bring folks from India, and other countries or outsource to other countries what we use to do for ourselves. These same corporations spend huge sums of money for lobbiest to in a sense pay certain officials to change the law or find ways not to enforce the laws. This is called good government.(Bribes). So when you vote over and over again to re-elect the same ones you keep getting the same resault. Just voting for a Republican or a Democrate isn't going to end the problem. they've allready been bought. you need to elect folks out side of the same Washington loop. If we all voted for more Independants then a clear message would be sent that we are not happy with the same, same O. voting for a Republican or democrate just because you don't like the other is dumb and fruitless.We have to change the direction of their mindset, and you don't do it by selecting another dummy. I feel that the two party system has become obsolete and non workable(as seen by all the obstructionist). We need to elevate more parties into the mainstream polliticts.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Moose

    Turns out that I'm PERFECTLY OK with the cops asking me for my "papers" (aka driver's license). Why am I OK with this? Um, because I'm a citizen. It's so weird because when I got pulled over for speeding last week, the cops axed me for my "papers", so I actually had to show them my dirver's license. Isn't that odd? I know, I thought it was strange too.

    Oh wait, that's right...now I remember, that's how we do business in the USA! When you get pulled over for a traffic violation, you do have to show the cops your DL.

    Here's the best part....ready? NOW, when the illegal Mexicans get pulled over, they aren't going to be released!!!! They will be booted out of here. WHY you may axe?...sorry...ask. 🙂
    Because, NOW we're enforcing the law that should have been enforced ALL ALONG.

    No hables Ingles!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chewy

    Would rather have Mexicans than Muslims.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Law Abiding American

    I have co workers and hard working neighbors that have gone through the proper channels to gain or apply for citizenship – It's a time consuming process that these criminals from Mexico don't want to follow. I agree we need immigration but it needs to be done the right way – They are sending out Census 2010 forms to all legal immigrants in the US – but they cannot use those numbers when there are enough illigal imigrants AKA Criminals in the country that it is affecting local businesses. I cannot believe people are supporting ILLEGAL Immigrants.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. steve

    Ok, I am white blonde / blue born in USA, lets say I get pulled over in Arizona and they look in my trunk and see my hockey equipment. They then ask me for my papers think maybe this guy is Canadian, what papers would I be required to show?

    April 28, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Moose

    Would rather have no ILLEGAL Mexicans than Muslims.

    Look - here's how it works. Let me leep this simple for you. Sign the guestbook.

    Any questions?

    April 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Law Abiding American

    PS Moose – I'd like to shake your hand – You want to see my ID – Ask me I'll be happy to provide it. I don't have anything to hide.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
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