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. Joe

    We have already committed genocide to take over this country, and we rounded up citizens in the 1940s and put them in internment camps. So what's the big deal with profiling some one with brown skin?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Marc

    This is turning into some rightwing vs leftwing issue and it is not. I am against illegal immigration yet am far from a neocon rightwing tea bagger. The tea party has torn this country apart claiming to be reformists while secretly (well so they thought) supporting the republican ideals. And where is the distinguished Republican Senator from AZ at in this, you know the one who had the figurehead of the tea party speak at a re-election campaign? You know John McCain? You right wing nut jobs call it a democracy when we vote your way but a socialist nation when we do not.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mishagothe

    Illegal is not a race and neither is Hispanic. Hispanic is a culture with the common bond of language. A "Hispanic" from Haiti has as much in common with an Argentinian of 95% Spanish blood as a Zebra with a Hippo.

    Illegals are CRIMINAL!!! Arrest and Deport.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sayed

    If they investigate and find something to charge you with, then what does it matter why the started to investigate you. And if they find nothing wrong, then they can be found guilty of breaking the law.

    I'm not naive. I know that poilce aren't always honest. But by your standard, no law should be enforced because the enforcer may not be 100% honest and lawful.

    The only part that is in dispute re: constitutionality is whether Arizona can decide to enforce federal law. The rest of it is lifted pretty much straight out of federal laws that have existed in some cases for 60 years, and have already been challenged for constitutionality, and found to be constitutional.

    I'm not using weasel words or semantics. I'm quoting the law as written. You're the one sayng stuff that isn't even in the law.

    I would also like to point out, of the 2 of us, I'm have not stooped to insults. As for you...

    April 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kat

    @cmack... BRAVO !!!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mark_mira

    Hey KAT you trust a report from CONGRESS LOL. You want it both ways, you AZ whites are nuts.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MadeYouLook

    I am a New Yorker of Hispanic parents... both of whom entered this country legally.... In return they were able to take full advantage of the perks this wonderful country of ours provides. I don't see why so many of hispanics are against this new law. Many illegal immigrants come to this country just to cause trouble... and yes I know... not all of them do that, but if your not here to cause trouble why not enter legally, with a record of you existing in this country? What are you hiding? Why should my tax dollars have to pay for the emergency room bill of an illegal immigrant? Did that person pay taxes? Do they pay taxes to help build roads or schools? To keep our fire department and police department running? Dont just come into this country and make money that your going to send out to your country. How about contributing?! Your not the only ones working their asses off! I think that the law passed in Arizona makes perfect sense. Our governent is streched out as is so why not have the local police department help out. I think its a fantastic idea as long as there is no racial profiling and any form of abuse of power.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JHo

    I support the new law, but does it include any further punishment than deportation? because won't they just come back? So what's the point?

    What we really need are harsher penalties. Such as: First time you're caught, you get deported and fingerprint taken for future reference. Second time, $10,000 fine or 5 years prison. 3rd time: something really bad. I bet you'll see a lot fewer illegals. They're not our citizens so we have no reason to protect them; might as well be enemies at war, since they're damaging our country. If they don't want the punishment they don't have to come here, their choice.

    Another option is just to put big tattoo's all over an illegal's body (including the face) if they're caught and deported so they'll be easier to spot next time 🙂

    April 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sam

    Border protection is strictly required. People should not be allowed to just sneak into US.
    But giving the local police the authority to stop anyone based on "suspicions"... that immediately puts all non-whites even who are born US citizens ..on the defensive.
    A brown man who is born in US and a white man from Britian who has overstayed illegally walk into a bar together and a bunch of police officers are given information that one of them is illegal...who do u think the police officers will start questioning first...?
    This law is insulting to all the non-whites US citizens....I dont care about illegals....but I know this law will affect me adversely because I am brown. But whatever arguments on the immigration side.., this will wreck the Arizona economy as I said..that all nonwhites will feel increasingly watched all the time.. I for sure wont feel comfortable to go to such a place.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. derfin


    but making a run for it is still free.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nate

    A driver's license is not proof of citizenship, nor is it proof of legal residency. How on earth will this law work? Most Americans do not carry any other document with them.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joseph C

    i have read all of the comments so far and i don't like what i am reading.

    both parties the gop and the dnc have lost touch with the common people to me.

    and personally i have no use for the tea party or the coffee party

    that's my 2 cents

    p.s. hey moose you kinda remind me archie bunker.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kat

    @jackie... come on down to the "welfare" office in SC. You will find many illegals in there applying for benefits standing shoulder to shoulder with whites & blacks. Thank god for ICE 287-G deportation program !!!

    Again, it's not about hate, it's about becoming an American citizen the legal way.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Just Wondering

    When reading many posts on this subject you really can see how many ignorant, uneducated, narrow minded mentally challenged racists there are in this country. We stole this country from it;s NATIVE people. It's time to get your ILLEGAL @SS'S out of here you fool's

    April 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CC

    mark_mira, I for one am not from Europe, and I'm pretty sure you speak Spanish. Ever wonder how the language made it here? Because it's not native. The Spanish conquered more of the Americas than the British ever did. The true Native Americans were slaughtered by the Europeans, including Spaniards, placed on reservations, or succumbed to European diseases like smallpox. Unless you can claim to have Aztec or other native blood, you're not a "real American" either. And no, the Mexican predecessors who have Spanish roots came during the same era as the British, not a thousand years before as you claim.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
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