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. tommy perkins (las Vegas)

    when you are racist. With racism racing through your veins. You don't get it. You don't have to be Mexican or ties to get it. I'm an African American from Oxnard California I get it. It's called racial profiling. Of course it's not going to happen even though it happens now even being against federal law. Now there is a law that pretty much okays it but of course it won't happen. Just be real with yourselves though. Look in the mirror and say it three times. I'm a racist I'm a racist I'm a racist....

    April 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Earle is 1000% right. But now he has to find a way to clear the backlog of the applications filed. ICE has warehouses of applications from folks that would like to enter the USA legally. If ICE worked for the next 10 years exclusively on this backlog, it would barely scratch the surface. Right now, an application can sit on a shelf awaiting processing for two years. When its turn comes, the examiner will almost always find that it needs updating and the cycle begins anew.

    The only cure for this processing problem is to give ICE the resources it desperately needs to do its job.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. john

    This law is anti hispanic pure and simple. Say "illegal is not a race" all you want, the outcome of this law will be racial profiling of hispanics, in fact it almost mandates law enforcment to stop all hispanics and demand documentation, The only silver lining is that this law will not stand up in court, Arizona citizens will be punished economically for their Republican representitives passing this law, and no longer will the GOP in Arizona be able to come close to saying they are trying to help the states economy. This law will hurt Arizona citizens!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MrThink3r

    I live in Phoenix and I have never ran into a problem with an illegal immigrant due to the fact that I don't know who is legal and who isn't (without it being only based on looks). The 2 problems I have with this new law is the way to enforce it and most of the people who like it are either hypocrites or racist. I don't see this law being enforced without racial profiling. Honestly everybody, do you actually think that if anyone with white or black or any other color skin than brown gets pulled over the police will have any doubt that they are here illegally? No. And that's just reality. The 2nd problem I have is most of the people behind it. To me there are two types of people behind this. The ignorant/ hypocrites, and the flat out racist. Most people actually say they don't have a problem with immigrants just illegal immigrants. Everyone must follow the law. However, the only way to enforce this law effectively is to racial profile which in itself is illegal. If the law is the law then why break one to enforce another? The other people are just the people who don't see a difference between Mexican-American and Illegal Mexican Immigrants. If your Mexican they want you gone.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. judy

    the foregoing comments have been a fascinating read. it has been an invaluable insight into the attitudes and opinions of people from all walks and places. i am grateful for the insight and education i have garnered from these exchanges. so many comments were well thought out, so many were scholarly and many were very personal. the bill in question has many permutations that must be considered before developing an opinion that can be defended on logical, moral and humanistic grounds. logically, we, for economic and legal reasons, must protect our borders. morally, we must remain true to our sense of honor and rightness. humanistically, we must revere, honor and help our fellow man. all of these imperatives come into play every time we think, every time we deal with those around us and every time we vote. it is not easy in this day and age to maintain the simple lessons of our childhood which taught us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us, but it is not the golden rule for nothing, the imperatives of logic, morality and humanity must always balanced. any law which does not meet these imperatives must not be honored.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scott Anderson

    STOP THE MEXICAN INVASIAN!!!!! THE CHILDREN OF THE ILLEGALS WILL BE COMPETING FOR THE FEW JOBS AMERICA WILL HAVE AVAILABLE. PLEASE SAVE OUR COUNTRY FROM 10 million JOB SUCKING TRESPASSERS!!!!!!! DON'T LISTEN TO DEMOCRATS TELL YOU THIS IS ABOUT RACE. ITS ABOUT POPULATION CONTROL and 10 million TRESPASSERS TAKING WHAT LITTLE IS AVAILABLE FOR AMERICANS. !!!!! DON"T STAND BY ANY LONGER CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR AND DEMAND THEY GET THESE INVADERS OUT NOW!!!!! YOUR WRONG TO FORCE THE FAMILLY YOU SWORE TO PROTECT TO ADOPT 10 MILLION PEOPLE. THIS IS TOO IMPORTANT TO ALLOW PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON WHO WILL NEVER BE AFFECTED BY THESE INVADERS TO VOTE THIS UP OR DOWN. AMERICANS DEMAND A NATIONAL REFERENDUM. LET AMERICA DECIDE IF WE SHOULD ADOPT 10 MILLION PEOPLE

    April 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ChocolateBear

    Hey I got an idea! Why dont we create a common union such as the one the EU. So United States, Canada, and Mexico all share a common currency and our economies are linked. At first yeah Mexico will bring the United States and Canada down but eventually Mexicos economoy will improve. With an improved economoy wil improve Mexicos infastructure. There will be more jobs avalibe in Mexico and they will pay basically the same price. So then there will be no point for illegals to even come to our country since they get all the same benefits in theirs. It would work. Look at what happend with Spain. They were basically the Mexico of Europe and now their fine. Plus with Mexico becoming a more stable country the illegals that are already here will leave. It happened in teh 1980s with the Japanese. As their country became an industrial power again they went back to their own country. There was no need for them to be in the United States any longer.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ramon F Herrera

    "What about the ILLEGAL part are you not understanding?"

    The part where it says it has to be forever.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jason Piller

    I do believe that immigration is vital for our country. Only problem America does not learn from the past. Remember the Social Studies we all studied in grade school. America was once a place where Native Americans our "first inhabitants" were overrun by our ancestors and slaughtered. We now are facing the same thing all over again. Do some research on ILLEGAL ALIENS. Don't go for one race or color of skin that makes no difference. GOOGLE CRIMES BY ILLEGAL ALIENS. Everyone has the right to be treated in a humane way, but if someone creates a crime under our law you will be punished. Now if you are here Illegally you have committed multiple crimes. For those of you that your biggest argument is Human rights. No one is being treated inhumane. There is no Concentration Camps, no torture, so where does Human rights come into the discussion. You broke the law enough said. If you are a Perminate Resident or a Citizen of these great United States, you should be upset by ILLEGAL Immigration. You all pay taxes to help our Parents, Grandparents, and War Veterans. Now think your tax money now has been diverted to a ILLEGAL Alien committing a crime and was injured. YOUR MOTHER, FATHER, SISTER, BROTHER, Etc will not get their operation because our country has gone broke, caring for someone runing America. Makes you think or least it should. I think my human rights are being violated since I by law have to pay taxes. ILLEGAL ALIENS DON'T. God Bless the USA.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Paul

    Illegal is not a race, but neither is Hispanic, Latino, Vietnamese, Chinese or any other nationality. Undocumented workers are only doing the same thing that our forefathers did. They only want to better themselves and their families. These hateful people that want to hunt down everyone in the US and categorize them with a Star of David, the eagle of Mexico or whatever else belong in 1930s Nazi Germany. Next they want to put them in camps, ship their out of the country, or kill them. Oh wait, they already want to do two out of the three. Stop the hate. Love one another.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Special Characters ?

    I'm a Mexican American...Thinking of having cops giving me crap for being brown is degrading enough.. Screw it, I hope to see the day a hillbilly cop kicks my suspicious ass all around main street so I can sue that stupid ass 🙂 God bless!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Craig

    Hmmm...I have white European friends who overstayed their visas....does the law apply to them?

    And I'm a white Mexican....do I get a pass? What about black Mexicans?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kay from Wa

    I don't mind forcing people to sign the guestbook. What I am against is a law that makes police evaluate someone for "looking illegal". How do we define that - person is too brown?

    April 28, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Aaron B

    I think this law is the best thing to happen here in AZ. I have lived in AZ for 7 years and during that time i have seen more and more illegals here everyday. The Us government has done nothing to solve this situation! And it is definetly not racial profiling when you see 30 illegal immigrants standing in front of Circle K ( gas station here in AZ) waiting for someone to come and pick them up for work! If i was a cop, and i saw them standing there i would ask for there papers too, because 9 out of 10 the are illegal. The only ones complaining about this law are probably illegal themselves or just spent thousands of dollars on a coyote to bring family members over our border, and there scared that they are gonna get caught! All we need now is California and Texas to follow!

    April 28, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dshaw

    this is ridiculous. i believe if all hispanics in america don't want problems as citizens they should help get the illegal immigrants with no right in america, out of america. durr. NO, lets complain so we make ourselves look bad, and make it look like we are for: making the american currency go down, making jobs harder to receive, and making non-hispanic citizens against all hispanics in america because they don't know if they are illigal or not. GREAT THINKING! haha. i don't mind hispanics in america, they are good people. but when they are aliens that are taking local jobs and causing havoc in local streets. it makes me think twice.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
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