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. Rick McDaniel

    There is only one proper solution.......send all illegals back to their country of origin, whatever that may be.

    Then, we will at least get rid of a few million criminals.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kat

    @MrThink3r.... obivously you are a bleeding heart liberal but you keep leaving out one very important fact in your comments... IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO ENTER OUR COUNTRY ILLEGALLY !

    April 28, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wbbgjr

    Most people in the u.s. support legal immigration with limits on the amount of immigration so that the immigrants can have a chance to assimilate. Have no limits and u.s. becomes a third world country. Just look at cities like los angeles and there's proof.


    April 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. miguel

    let the mexicans in, its a free country, and americans are loosing their jobs to other countries because they cant do anything, they are lazy, mexicans can work, thats why we get jobs, this law is racist, dont vote on it.

    April 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sayed

    Alex, Center for Immigration Studies: Annual average cost per illegal, over two thousand dollars. Make them legal, which lets them legally access things like welfare, given their average low level of education and lack of skills, the annual average cost goes up to 7,000+ dollars. Now, multiply that by the 400,000+ illegals in Arizona alone.

    Then ask yourself, who's going to pay for all of that. You just made one problem go away, for a major, major price tag.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dylan

    I think what AZ is doing is good. I have some Filipino friends who filed papers back at home, waited for their visa, came here, worked hard, and are still waiting for their citizenship. They are angered at the illegals who just sneek over the border. Why should some people have to wait and others not. My friends love and respect America when the illegals do not...

    April 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. alex

    Latinos need to unify to fight this tyranny. Remember that most of the the white people were illegal in this country to begin with. They came on the Mayflower and took over this country illegally.

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

    Build the fences, add some "juice" to it in order to keep illegals from coming over and instead of adding 60,000 more IRS agents to enforce "obamacare" add that number to border patrol and ice.

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

    To SCOTT ANDERSON________


    April 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chico

    As a 2nd generation bilingual hispanic, I see nothing wrong with asking for papers, documentation, whatever. I have nothing to hide, respect the law, am a law-abiding licensed nurse. In my 46 years living in this country, I have not once felt like a second class citizen. NO-ONE, including illegals, are above the law. The laws apply to everyone. PERIOD. Those latino families who came here illegally or have family across the border, I am sorry you feel you have a right to be here without proper due process. To many American taxpayers are carrying your burden.

    One of the greatest assets of this country are it's laws. Respect them....

    April 28, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dennis S

    I want to address the comments about food costing more. I think prior to the Civil War there was an argument against freeing black slaves because the cost to harvest tobacco and cotton, and whatever else they grew in the south, would become to high to compete. If you think we need abused underpaid workers so you can eat cheaper then you really support a kind of slavery. Legal Immigrants can get any job they want in America but the illegal immigrants end up working for people that take advantage of them. I dare you to say to a farm worker that if they are paid more that you will starve. Slavery has been outlawed in nearly every corner of the world. If lettuce goes up $5 (exaggeration) then so be it but I don't want it to remain low by insisting we ignore a "necessary" slave labor.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joel

    At no time in history do we have more entitlement programs set up for the poor and needy and with this thought illegals have been very informed of these programs and take advantage of them. These programs are breaking America and the loopholes need to be fixed...immigration laws must address this.... come here,work here, help us pay for those who don't. No programs were in place 50 years ago and immigrants should be proud to NOT accept welfare programs like our forefathers... naw won't ever happen...too easy to get it free....

    April 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gary

    So let me get this straight; I'm walking down a street in Phoenix and do something to attract the local law enforcement, perhaps just jaywalking. They stop me, suspect I'm and alien (perhaps an illegal from Ireland) and ask me to produce papers, which of course I can't since I'm actually an American citizen. Now what is our friendly officer to do? Detain me (bad choice; will lead to lots of bad PR)? Let me go (maybe I am an illegal from Ireland)? Or try to quiz me to see if I know American history (who won the World Series in 1943?)? By the way, most naturalized citizens have a better grasp of American history than native high school graduates.

    This thing is totally unenforceable. At best it will lead to law abiding illegal aliens, thus avoiding attention, which is maybe what they wanted to do in the first place.

    Anyone want to place bets on how long it is until an American citizen is falsely detained?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vick lewis

    that is true the employers are jusr the problem just like our goverment they also hire immigrant also so there your problem people love cheap labor alway taking about american dont wanted to work bull shit

    April 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jose Medina

    I am shocked this is a CNN blog – usually they censor the hell out of what Americans are really thinking and skew it to look like everyone thinks like a liberal (i.e. half of all Americans love Ms. Palin but only those with PDS* are allowed to keep a post up for very long).

    Keep it up CNN – give that other news website a run for its money with your new found fairness!

    * Palin Derangement Syndrome

    April 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
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