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. mark_mira

    Did you know those 12 million pay taxes, social security, medicad, but can't take
    part in any of those prorgrams, because they would be deported? So why blame
    hard working people who actually work for a living? Some work 12 hour days for
    4 months and then are sent back to Mexico by these large agri business do,
    to make profits off Almonds and other stuff. Yep, blame Mexicans is easy.
    Look in the mirror AZ, you are the problem, you bunch of racists.

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

    CC I can tell you are Harvard Educated. Better dig a little deeper, because you are an idiot.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rico

    When we say illegal immigrants in this country have NO rights, do we also mean that US citizens who are abroad illegally also have NO rights?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. John grambie

    just a point of clarification. As a constitutional attorney, the constitution does in fact "not cover illegal immigrants" as their entrance into the US is committing a crime.
    It is in fact that illegal aliens do have rights wthin the US but if they are illegal into the US (without visa etc) then they forfeit rights....

    April 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nicole


    Moose can't be detained IF he shows a valid ARIZONA driver's license, or if he shows a driver's license from an entity that requires proof of citizenship. If Moose has a license from, say, a state that doesn't require proof of citizenship (like North Carolina, where I live), he goes to jail until they can prove he's a citizen.

    Thanks for quoting the law for me. It helps make my point.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CC

    Good job mark_mira, you do your cause great by name calling and insulting others. That's very persuasive.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JHo

    Rico: sure, why not? Why should you be abroad illegally? When you go on vacation to another country or travel for business, that counts as legal since you have to go through customs and stuff. If you, an American, travel to another country illegally, then sure you should be subject to whatever punishment that country gives to trespassers. Just don't break the law if you don't want the punishment, it's quite simple.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bill Surrey

    Moose is right. As a matter of fact, people who hire the illegals should suffer the fullest extent of the law.
    Let's start with Lou Dobbs.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KBinMN

    For all of you who view illegal immigration as some sort of sweet justice based on America's past, I have but one question. How many illegals do you think this country can absorb before the reasons people want to come here in the first place no longer exist?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. cmack

    Read the bill

    A drivers license is accepted as proof of legal residency under this law.

    I'm tired of not being of people not listening.


    April 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kat

    @Mark_Mira.... seriously? grow up and stop acting like an idiot! it's funny how people in here will bash the tea party and stereotype us as the "fringe-right" who are violent, racist, homophobics...but yet nothing is mentioned about the radical left throwing bottles at police and vandalizing property in AZ....

    Reality Check for you Mark_Mira.... most of us are just everyday, average law-abidng citizens who want our borders protected, our consitution enforced,smaller government, fewer taxes and more indivdual rights! We are not radicals who want to hurt others based on their opinions. Stop buying into all the Hype about us that you watch on CNN and do some real research on our movement before bashing us !

    April 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jack St. Orange

    This law is completely unconstitutional. It is already the case that law enforcement will check for ID once there is probable cause that a law has been or is being broken. Arizona clearly has an issue with illegal immigrants, but this is the wrong way to go about solving the problem. People will undoubtedly be stopped based upon their race because of this law. To say otherwise is ridiculous. There are some extremely ignorant comments on this board.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mark_mira

    Every movie about the Nazi's showed the SS asking for your papers. Now AZ will be
    doing the same everyday. How about that, AZ you now support Facism by a 60% all
    white, I got me a black American Express Card rich idiots! How sweet to be
    right up there with Nazi Germany asking any brown face for their papers. I bet
    you and your racits Gov are so proud. "I need to see your papers please."

    I hope people state the heck out of you state and you suffer. This will hit you
    were it hurts the most, your wallets you Greedy bastards!!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matt

    Did you that 10% of the people they catch illegally coming across our southern borders are not from Mexico?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Shag

    If they started with big business, I'd be okay with working on the problem. The bottomline is that Republicans, and some Dems., are in the pocket of big business and want cheap labor. Right-winger hero, Ronald Reagan, gave amnesty to 6 million undocumented immigrants. Only the native indians have a right to this land, and besides, Arizona was a part of Mexico before that country was duped into a phony war.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
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