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. Libby Thomas

    Ladies and Gentleman of these United States:
    I support the Federal Law that has been on the books for 60 years as well as the Arizona Law.

    Why you think Obama is scared to jump in this? His aunty is illegal in Boston and he is illegally occupying the highest office in the land.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mark_mira

    You know AZ needs to become it's on country, because they have a boatload of
    money, like the TeaParty people. Greed and hate is all that they care about,
    so they just need to start their own country and let Americans a get on with
    freedom. Germany tried this thinking in WWI and WWII, they lost and
    killed millions. Guess that what AZ wants..so have had it. You don't
    like America..go with Texas and don't let the door hit you in the ....on
    the way out of freedom and justice for all you idiots!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ed

    Illegal immigrants are illegal, but let's get a few things striaght:

    1. The whole racial profiling thing is what it is. You and I both know the target of the bill is illegal Mexican immigrants, which is just fine as long as everyone illegal gets shipped out. Good luck ferreting out illegal Germans team!
    2. If you are serious about this law, let's give rewards for turning in companies and people having an illegal immigrant working for them. Not fines, rewards! In fairness if a legislator is found to have say an illegal gardener, that legislator should be immediately impeached and charged. If the good incensed people of Arizona did not hire these people, they wouldn't be there.
    3. About that travel advisory, tell me how many people that are going to sneak in here will know it exists? Not too damned many folks, and the people that committed the crime that spurred the righteous indignation are laughing. I don't think the drug lords are too scared! Where was all this righteous indignation 5 or 10 years ago?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Clyde

    What is all of the brouhaha about. When I married my wife she was a british national. In order to enter the United States, LEGALLY, she had to get a visaf and then get a green card. She did this is Britain and came with me to the United States. Never was she asked for her proof of residency. Now of course she did not drive without a licence, did not break the law, nor did she act as though she was going to be a problem. I feel that Arizona is doing the right thing. People like Kevin Johnson, Sacramento City Mayor, need to get their act together and represent their city and not other places. Some of these people, especially politicians in California, need to look in their own back yard before they go out into the big world and try to solve others problems. Of course if the Federal Government would address this problem then just maybe, just maybe, things could turn around and the United States would be in a better position to dictate what states should do.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sayed

    Diego, look at what you posted. And then just think, for one moment.

    You are wrong. Read the quote below again.

    "Requires officials and agencies to reasonably attempt to determine the immigration status of a person involved in a lawful contact where reasonable suspicion exists regarding the immigration status of the person."

    And you say, "It does not allow police to investigate merely on the basis of color or race."

    If a police officer decides that a brown face constitutes "reasonable suspicion" to him, this law gives him the power to detain, harrass, and arrest that person. Un-American, un-Constitutional, the End.

    Posted by: Diego"

    Even you posted: Does not allow police to investigate merely on the basisi of COLOR or RACE.

    Then immediately you say, if a police officer decides that a brown face constitutes "reasonable suspicion", that police officer can harrass, detain you.

    Does what you wrote make sense to you?

    That police officer who brings you in front of a judge on that basis will be the one who broke the law. There is no empowerment in this law to do what he or she did to you.

    You contradict yourself.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Lily

    I have two questions:

    1. What about the kids who were brought over as babies and never been to their 'home' country? They are as American as anyone here, it's the only home that they have ever known. Is that far?

    2. How do you know that this new law does not encourage racial profiling? What constitutes as 'reasonable suspicion?'

    April 28, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. noname12121

    Eveeryone is this world is sick legal or not.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Diego

    Hey Libby,

    You said, "Why you think Obama is scared to jump in this? His aunty is illegal in Boston and he is illegally occupying the highest office in the land."

    Is there oxygen on your planet? Enjoy your tea.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. derfin

    by the way, does anyone know the full cost of the application process to become a u.s. citizen? anybody know how many mexicans who are coming here to make living wages can actually afford to enter legally?

    April 28, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Seriously, I want to know why all the Latinos are not protesting the Mexican government on allowing such a crappy life in mexico that they are all resorting to coming here to the United States. If anything, Mexico should be calling on all mexicans to return to the homeland and promising them a better life, work, homes, and relief from the embarassment the United States is causing them. Its obvous the illegals ( I understand its people from everywhere but a huge majority from Mexico, at least in AZ) are overwhelming the United States and being illegal is illegal. What the heck are you guys even protesting. If you get asked for I.D, who is the world cares that it took you 3 seconds to show it. If you can carry your wallet, keys, insurance card, etc..then add the required paperwork in your wallet when asked. The only fix for this now is a Federal I.D that everyone will be mandated to carry.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marc

    You are the reason there should have been federal funding for abortion in the healthcare bill.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mark_mira

    You know why stupid people in AZ are afraid? Cause Indians and Mexicans were here first, way before you. Why don't all of you leave the country and give it back to the
    people who were her first? Look it up in your History books. It was way before the
    Tea Party you stupid idiots!!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joe_American

    We Americans have been raped by the foreign invasion called immigration. Foreigners are just as precious or perverse as Americans. They may be smarter, better looking, less fat, and more presentable. They may in fact be superior to us Americans. Nevertheless, we are a sovereign country. We have laws and we have been raped by the foreign invasion and those here in the country who have given it the life that it did not deserve. Guess what? Game over and country over. The writing is one the wall, the signs are everywhere. We smoked the dope now there is little hope. We bought their line and nothing is fine. We dreamed of utopia and now there is no hope for you all. We are broke and I see the smoke. If the nation survives for another five, I"lll be surprised. But really, can non-violence preaching over the nation's break-up prevent violence that has succcumbed to every other nation that had such divisions.

    April 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kat

    NEWSFLASH.. why do you think indian reservations, some with the benefits of being tax exempt exist today? The government trying to right a wrong. There used to be thousands of slave owners in America too, Would that make it ok for me to buy a slave, just because my ancestors did???

    Justvoicinganopinion....your point is a moot one at best!

    April 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
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