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. Kat

    Irene... I'm dark skinned ( American Indian) and would have no problem handing over my "documentation". Just like I don't have a problem givng the police my drivers license when I am stopped for speeding. Breaking the law is breaking the law... there is no gray area to this people!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SpyderGirl

    In 1913, my great grandfather witnessed the brutal slaying of two nuns in their town. The very next day, he packed up his daughter and her belongs, put her on a train to Hamburg Germany where she boarded the President Lincoln and sailed to the US with the equivalent of $32 USD (1913, so a couple hundred bucks today). She was screened and let into the country. Once here, she was given 10 years to get her citizenship. She didn't have to apply for a Visa, she didn't have to show that she had a trade, she just showed up and passed a health screening. Her soon to be new husband did the same thing, only his brother had TB and was sent home. If it was still that easy, more would do it legally. They would sign the guestbook, like my Bubba at Ellis Island. Most of our families came here the very way that these illegals do. It was easier then, and it should be easier now. Give then a health screening and require a sponsor to help them adjust. Instead of more police, how about more educators/counselors to help them integrate and mind them like a foster child or parole officer. Make citizenship easy if they can show after 3-7 years they can hold a job and keep out of trouble. The violent ones won't care about laws like this, they'll just shoot the officer.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BSD

    Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law says, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal ... are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues."

    April 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gary

    Not true, which is why I used a walking violation in my example. My son didn't get a DL until he was out of the US military, and he was born here as wer 6 generations before him. He simply didn't need one. In most states you can get an resident ID card to prove you're over 21, but you don't have to.

    I repeat my contention. This law is unenforceable without snaring US citizens.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Spendlove

    "American eyes, Americans eyes.. view the world from American eyes. Bury the past, rob us blind.. and leave nothing behind." – RATM

    April 28, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    The United States of America does not have an illegal immigration problem, that’s a myth; the United States of America has an illegal hiring problem. That’s a fact. The law is fine if and only if someone is being pulled over for a legitimate reason. If it is simply because he looks like an illegal then that is unconstitutional and un-American. I have heard righties talk about slippery slopes, well this is one. What comes next? Kicking in peoples doors that look different? We are a nation of laws yes but we are also a nation of morals. By the way I have to thank Ronald Reagan for causing this problem, before he granted amnesty we had migrant farm workers who came over worked the fields and then went home.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eric

    The only question I have is how can this be enforced? Is law enforcement going to stop every person to see if they are legal residents of the United States, natural born, immigrant or otherwise? If not, what are the standards for stopping someone? If there is a reasonable answer to this that excludes the color of a person's skin or their accent I would really like to hear it because no one has come forward with one yet.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Damone


    You missed it but don't worry I'll double back. I'm not asking what is considered as proof. This law allows for anyone that "looks" like an illegal or is under suspicion of being illegal. So, what's deems as suspicion of being illegal? What is a characteristic of an illegal alien? If you are pulled over but you are asked for ID, that's a given. But this law allows police to mark someone as illegal and then question them so how do you come to that determination? You have yet to answer only point to a law that I understand already but I'm asking how do determine who's illegal just by looking at them?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pat

    Anyone here actually READ the U.S. Constitution? It applies to EVERYONE, not just Americans. Sounds to me like everyone's been getting their info from either Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly or that total moron, Sarah Palin. Our Bill of Rights state that everyone has INALIENABLE RIGHTS, not just American citizens or residents of Phoenix, Arizona

    Bruce, where in the Constitution does it state this? Last time I checked it says "We the People of the United States" I'm sure those Inalienable rights your talking about only apply to legal citizens.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jose Medina

    Wow – sudden influx of support for illegal aliens! Did Piolin advertise the site on his radio program again? And why do all those against the bill resort to racist statements and insults? Just goes to show, sadly, that we Hispanics are way more racist than our caucasian brothers.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ana

    ok listen up people i am hispanic too ok, and we should have the right to enter America without having to deal with all of the "you are illegal" or "this is my land" we are all people and yes i understand that you are saying you want your jobs, but the truth is we also need jobs to survive i mean just like MR THINK3R said we have families to feed, and what happened to "its A Free Country". Yes we are crossing the border illegally, I know we are taking jobs but we also have rights, and we are not just going to give up, we are not going stay in our foreign countries, america is going to have to find a better solution because this is a free state and we should not have to leave.

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

    It's funny how Arizona is generating this sort of movement. I wonder if there are certain demographic trends there not represented in other border states.

    Texas has its share of troubles, and just as many rural dwellers who feel like the Feds must take a stronger stance on defending our borders from smugglers and other violent thugs who have been known to fire weapons at innocent bystanders as they trespass on private property.

    However this drama which is stemming from suburban dwellers in cities not near the border is a different story. It would be interesting to know more about what is motivating these sorts of views and opinions, rather than continuing to simply debate the dilemma as a black and white situation.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tom Moore

    It has been on the books for 60 years folks, nothing new here. Read it and it will tell you what a legal Alien must carry with him at all times or face fine or prison, and produce it when asked by law enforcement http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/8/12/II/VII/1304

    April 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Damone

    I see that they are. This law won't even effect me directly but it's too vague and it's only a matter of time before it's harrassmen city in AZ.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |

    American police are perfect for this law because they have pulled blacks over for decades. The switch to Hispanics will be easy.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
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