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. Walken1

    "Non-Citizens should have nothing to fear."

    I'm assuming you mean "citizens should have nothing to fear". That's true if you're white and don't face the prospect of "looking" like an illegal immigrant. Seriously, how do you expect police to profile an illegal immigrant just by looking at them? There's no way around the fact that racial profiling will be used. And even if you are a citizen, being racially profiled is humiliating. And if you don't carry ID, you can be hauled off to jail until you can get someone to prove you are who you say you are.

    Illegal immigration is a serious problem that must be addressed. But this law is an abomination, and will infringe upon the rights of US citizens mistakenly swept up by police. Where is the Tea Party concern about the constitution now? Hypocrites.

    April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. GoodbyeAllFreeloaders

    Diego...what about the black or Hispanic cop who says: "Hey there's a white with a hockey jersey on...let's check him out". Why is it that only Whites are prejudice? Actually, why is it that mainly non-whites are the ones still talking about race. Believe me, most (not all but most) have "moved on" when it comes to race. But it still seems to be a "crutch" for everyone else? Funny...who actually is racist?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JR

    It slays me that so many seem to think that NO American citizen will be hassled, how do you think the police will find illegals, by stopping and questioning legal citizens until they find an illegal immigrant, do you really think it OK for Americans to be pulled over because they have dark skin?

    April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JR

    I also notice that EVERY person I've seen supporting this criminal law is white, I wonder how loud whites would scream if THEY were to be pulled over at whim?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Travis

    To Tammy B: There is a reason you WERE a law student. I'm guessing you failed Constitutional Law.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Still Remember

    I guess the folks in AZ, particularly, Chandler, forgotten how the police there determined who was and was not an "illegal" during the round-up about a decade or so.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Josh


    its hard not to see your arguments as blatant racism? with this anger and dumb qips " NO HABLES ESPANOL" they are obviously cultural and idealogical qualms you have. There is no empathy in your tone for a whole population of people who were first kicked out of their land, and now they have to sit in their desert of a country and watch american's thrive? For God's sake you call yourself an American, but the continent is America. Open your eyes. I think immigration is needed, maybe even this new law was needed, but what is not needed is hatred, and mindless adherence to a law and ideals without once considering the actually circumstances or the history behind them.


    April 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CC

    Damian, there's a difference between feeding and clothing the poor and allowing people to break the law. I don't see homeless people robbing banks.

    Those who say that their lands were taken, please realize that the only people who lost their lands in all this are the Native Americans, who actually have a right to protest. Remember the conquistadors? Mexico was formerly a Spanish colony, and committed the same acts of injustice to the natives as all the other Europeans, one of which was taking their land.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Keith


    I love the morons out there that continue to bash the Tea Party and Sara Palin. Keep drinking the Obama cool aid you bunch of left wing nuts. I suppose the gathering downtown PHX this week was peaceful right? If these people protesting even knew what the law states then they wouldn’t be protesting. Good luck with the Federal government trying to over turn this law as it currently conforms to all federal laws. Racial profiling will not be tolerated end of story. Keep making this about a RACE issue is not going to work. Hello Mr. President Obama please fix the wall along our boarders. Oh that’s right you want as many illegals here as possible so the democratic party will get those future votes when you give all of the illegals amnesty. What a JOKE!!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. guest

    No one is bringing up the fact that Mexico has serious problems. It is because of Mexico's
    inabillity to take care of it's own people that a lot of illegal immagrants are here in the first place. If illegal alliens are sent home and forced to live there, maybe they would evoke some kind of change in their own country. People that think allowing illegal alliens to stay in the US is the humane thing to do does not realize the full cost of allowing this to happen. People that have been here illegally for 10 or 15 years have been breaking the law for 10 or 15 years. If a US citizen commits a crime and gets caught they have to pay for it regarless of how good they are. Children born in this country to illegal immigrants
    shouldn't become citizens. Then people would stop coming over here just to have children.
    Get rid of the benefits and the actions will stop.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 1ProudLatina

    I KNOW, I KNOW...WHY NOT MAKE IT FAIR FOR ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS AND HAVE MICROCHIPS INSERTED TO IDENTIFY US ALL EQUALLY? THAT WAY NO ONE GETS RACIALLY PROFILED. How does that sound? Does that sound fair? Anyone see anything wrong with this? Yes, right??? Well, now you know how Hispanic Americans feel!!!

    BTW, CodeMonkey thanks for the correction. I wonder why you just corrected me though? Hmm...many of your counterparts don't even know how to write... ; )

    April 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Paul

    A very intelligent friend of mine once said, "If we get rid of the blacks, then we'll find some other race of people to kill or get rid of." All I see is a bunch of hatred from people who only know how to fear those that are different from what they know

    April 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. for real?

    @ Jason

    learn your history. This is exactly what happened. Arizona used to be part of Mexico before the Americans invaded it.

    people are so ignorant and short sighted.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rick Geary

    The Arizona law is a logical step when the Federal Government fails to inforce laws already on the books. I cannot argue with Mr. Earl because he is absolutely correct. My only fear is that the police in Arizona may become like the East German Stazi in the 1950s. .

    As far as those arguing the Constitutionality of the law, they need to reread the Constitution. Some of the Constitution, i.e., Admendment 5 and 6, apply to everyone whether citizens or not. Other sections and Admendments apply only to U.S. Citizens. The Constitution is a framework within which the U.S. Government operates. It is not carved in stone. It can be changed by Congress and by the states. I do not know if this law is unconstitutional or not, but Congress can act through the admendment process if necessary to pass a good immigration law.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Diego

    I am white and I have lived all over this country. I can tell you beyond any doubt that racism is alive and well in this country. As far as your comment about racist black or hispanic cops – I'm sure they exist as well. But under the law they cannot stop anyone without the suspician of breaking the law. This law allows any police officer to detain and harrass any citizen for any reason. Big difference. I never said that only whites are prejudiced – there are many ignorant people out there, regardless of skin color.

    Race is a lot smaller problem for those who are in the majority. That may be why you hear more complaints from folks with darker shades.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
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