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. Marc

    You are really not aiding your cause or message right now. We have the rightwing nutters here already we do not need the left too, is Fox and MSNBC reading this and sending people in here?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EuphioTGank

    "Amnesty International called the abuse of migrants in Mexico a major human rights crisis Wednesday, and accused some officials of turning a blind eye or even participating in the kidnapping, rape and murder of migrants. The group's report comes at a sensitive time for Mexico, which is protesting the passage of a law in Arizona that criminalizes undocumented migrants." when are people going to open their eyes and stop this political BS and do something to stop the real human rights abusers?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CC

    I agree, this law should be overturned, and the federal government should take this as a wake-up call to take up its rightful responsibility to create fair immigration laws, that also prevent illegal immigration.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Moose

    How dare you question the Moose!!! I stand for law and order!

    If you're in my country illegally - purple, green, short, fat, smart, dumb....makes no difference to me - then get out. And if you want to come in, that's fine - just sign the guestbook and ask permission.

    You people got a lot to learn!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    OK Damone,

    No-one has answered you because your question makes a false assumption. No Police officer is going to stop or question a person based solely upon what they look like. That is not what this new law allows or supports in any way. Please get a clue. You are over simplifying

    April 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. derfin

    john grambie

    you think illegal immigrants are the only criminals you pay for every day? how much does prison food cost? how much money did george bush or dick cheney make? how many companies do you support daily that commit worse crimes that you don't know about or don't care about?


    smaller government mean giving them more power to affect your day to day? i think letting the gov.t check people pretty much indiscriminately counts as bigger government.


    you're crazy but i like you.

    at the end of the day the cost of immigrants is piss in a bucket compared to how much america spends on everything else. we're a country that only counts expenditures above the tens of billions as a bit pricey. when the cost of illegal immigrants gets into that range per annum then give me a shout.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Melodie

    I bet that if anyone here in the U.S. were living in the conditions people in Latin America are, and couldn't pay for surgeries or stable living conditions, that they would be crossing the border if they could too. The only difference between you and "them" is that you happened to be born in this country.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cyrus Jones

    Runswithbeer.... those words were written when MY BROTHERS were enslaved by YOUR brothers.... How can that now be held up as proof of anything...

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    -Cyrus Jones

    April 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Maria Olson

    My neighbor was imprisoned in Costa Rica because he failed to have his passport on his person. He was not released until his friend returned with the documents from the hotel. Where is the uproar?

    April 28, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pete

    His logic is sound, but in order for it to work in practice, legal immigration needs to become much easier. It's not as easy as "signing the guest book." If it were, there wouldn't be so much illegal immigration. Law enforcement on illegal immigration isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's not the solution. A real solution would be immigration reform that loosens the bureaucratic grip on immigration and actually makes an incentive to come here legally. A guy who's so poor he needs to move across borders to work isn't going to wait forever for his green card.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alex

    If I go to Mexico, (to any City) and try to get a job, after 3 month I will have inmigration police there, for sure they gonna deport me to my original country, and then the Mexicans comes here ilegally pretending all the benefits, rights, etc, etc ???...this is insane!!! the Goverment has to do something about it, and do it NOW!!, the situation in Arizona is critical and could be out of control soon, California also is in the same way, gangs, drugs, dangerous streets, trash everywhere in Los Angeles, Nasty!, but for the other side, we need to respect our Constitution and the Civil rights also.The solution is very easy.Is so easy than nobody can't see it.Let's move America to Africa, no more Mexicans leave them here ilegally, and we will have better "Slaves" in Tanzania....with an increible Jungle View....

    April 28, 2010 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. La Alacrana

    John Lupus: Go back to elementary school. Our constitution and Bill of Rights apply to ANYONE in the United States whether documented or undocumented. I wonder how many other idiots out there actually think you need to be a citizen to be protected by the Bill of Rights.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ME

    To whomever said they do the jobs Americans don't want is a retard!!! I've been unemployeed since Nov and i'd love a job but no one is hiring in CA since they have all the tiny chorizo's to work for next to nothing. maybe I could get a job drivin the busses from AZ to mexico 🙂 and by the way, 2 illegals that have a baby in the U.S.A. don't make a legal baby WTF my parents were in Japan when I wasborn, and i'm not Japanese.... I wish I could take my vote back, obama is a sissy back scratchin ignorant muslim

    April 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. El loco

    Aha! So AZ waits for every illegal to be acounted for on the CENSUS then get this bill going eh? smart az! Hope illegals and hispanics wouldnt participate in the CENSUS! Screw Arizona!!

    April 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Thats the first section of the 14th Amendment that for some reason you ignorant people keep trying to say applies to ALL people. You are WRONG. The constitution applies to CITIZENS and lawful occupants. The only thing that everyone is guaranteed in the constitution is due process, which if you are here illegally then your due process to law is simply asking to prove your legal status.

    April 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
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