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. Paul

    Why don't we all (Arizona's racist Rednecks and the 11million of illegal immagrants who make this country's economy run) celebrate the cinco de mayo together like a happy family. Let's get the tacos ready and the Corona beer on the table. Let's creat a national holiday called MexiThanksgiving. Afterall even the name Arizona is Hispanic.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michael roice

    Native Americans did occupy this land, and we took it from them by force. It's our land now, we aren't going to give it back to anyone. To be part of this country, you must become a citizen. We can't let everyone in. It has a big impact on our economy and quality of life. Now with terrorism a constant threat, you, my illegal neighbor, are not welcome here. The movement to deport you is growing by leaps and bounds, and you will not remain here much longer.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. outraged247

    what if we all moved to West Africa, lived there for a couple hundred years, then decided to kick the black people out because they were on "our" land? If you all want to talk about abiding by laws, then what about treaties? When the US took 50% of Mexico's land, we signed something called the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, but we didn't abide by it. So, here we are, 150 years later, calling this "our" land, and kicking people off of it whose ancestors have been here for thousands of years. i know the rants that will follow my comment wil say "we won that war" and the US is a sovereign nation, but all I have to say is, it's really easy to pick on poor people, who are simply trying to feed their family. if you were in the same situation, you would do the same. if you don't like illegal immigration, what are you doing to stop the US from exploiting labor in Mexico? To quote the White Stripes, 'WHO'S USING WHO? WHAT SHOULD WE DO? YOU CAN'T BE A PIMP AND A PROSTITUTE TOO!" And by the way, I'm white and am ashamed of Arizona and their racist effing law...

    April 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. loader

    I have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, well i ain't happy so who is in charge of happiness

    April 28, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Des de Texas

    Paul, You are a moron. Once again, ILLEGAL IS NOT A RACE, IT IS A CRIME! And no, I'll pass on celebrating Cinco de Mayo with you. It is a Mexican holiday that has nothing to do with Arizona or America.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ME

    let's all pitch in on paul a spell check 🙂

    April 28, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sir Chaos

    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 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    Cyrus Jones,

    Your people, if your people came from Africa, where probably sold into slavery by your own people. It wasn't YOUR people that outlawed slavery in America. Slavery still exists in Africa. I have seen several of your "poor pitiful me because I am black" posts. Please stop race baiting, the race war is over and if that is all you have to stand on you are pretty pitiful.

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

    I find it very funy that the teap party members who cry foul that Obama is vilotating our rights with the HCR bill but yet defend this Law in Ariazona that directly violates the 14th admendment.. "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". Bunch of damn hypocrits

    April 28, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark D

    Cyrus Jones you poor baby. Get over it, it was a horrible thing but stop segregating yourself. You will get no sympathy. Your ancestors were taken from their homeland (sold by their own people) which is an awful awful scenario but you know what, you benefited from it and were born in the greatest country in the world and have every opportunity in the world, so I would say that you have been compensated more than enough. Again, stop segregating yourself and blaming it on the white man.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Physika

    To all racist, ignorant, (Conservative "Party" People, ignorant means "resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence) tea "partiers", all I hear coming from your lips is: blah blah blah. Nothing you people say, justify your actions. I never new tea was a synonym for hate. I guess I have to stop drinking it, else I become a hater also. Tea "partiers" are the US version of the Taliban. Well done.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Diego

    Dave,
    I don't know why you would question my service or the fact that I am not Hispanic (other than my screen name which I chose because that was my "Spanish" name when I took Spanish way back in High School.

    Although I don't owe you an explanation. I served 6 years active duty Navy, two years active duty Air Force, and the rest Reserve duty in both branches. I served an Active Duty tour in Iraq in 2007 at the CASF on the Balad Air Base.

    You ask me if I know about anything. I know enough to have respect for the people who have served to protect the rights that we are guaranteed in America. I am not "baiting reverse racism", whatever you mean by that. I am speaking out for the freedoms we enjoy in this country and pointing out the fact that we are not in a country that asks their citizens to carry around proof of citizenship for presenting upon request by the authorities. There are plenty of countries that do – we don't. Except for Arizona. The only state that voted against honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King for his contributions to this nation. So, I don't know what your deal is, but if you are trying to insult me, it's not working.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lotus123

    While the Wall Street bankers and multinational corporations that run the country divide us–whites vs. Hispanics, "liberals" vs. "conservatives"–with faux issues like this one, they continue to push through free trade agreements and policies that make it easier for them to ship our jobs overseas and reap massive profits. And so the gap between rich and poor in America grows, the middle and working classes shrink, people become frightened and angry, and thanks to our dumbed-down education system, they look for scapegoats instead of seeking the real root causes of their miseries.

    Arizonans, in some ways I wish you would succeed in your mad desire to rid your state of all undocumented immigrants. Not only would your economy become a shambles–a just desert for the not-so-subtly masked racism I've seen in these comments–but you would then have to face the reality of your situation: your economic and social problems had nothing to do with your brown-skinned neighbors, and everything to do with the current economic system in this country that robs from the middle and working classes to enrich the already-super rich.

    We are all slaves in that economic system, fighting one another over illusions, while our masters laugh at us. The brave men and women who founded this great nation would weep for shame if they were alive to see this.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff

    Immigration reform and racial profiling aside it's an unconstitutional law. It creates situations where a violation of the 4th amendment can occur. There is no probable cause to detain someone and require documentation other than you think they might be illegal. The only way you might think they are illegal is the way they look or talk. Based on that idea every single person in Arizona, legal or illegal, who looks or talks different must provide proof of their citizenship or residency without doing anything wrong. I am a white male, 4th generation US citizen with absolutely nothing to hide, but if a law enforcement official asks me for ID he or she better have a good and constitutionally valid reason. Getting pulled over for a traffic violation is one of those reasons, but a cop can't pull me over just to ask for my ID. And if I provide that ID, he or she cannot ask for further proof of who I am or what I'm doing unless they have reasonable suspicion of another crime. None of those suspicions can have anything to do with the way I look.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. derfin

    i dont think anyone here supports just opening the borders. it comes down to a matter of respect for other people as human beings. all the talk supporting the bill simply labels immigrants as illegal or criminal. it's not particularly fair. they aren't stealing jobs if people arent fighting for those jobs, they aren't weighing the social systems down near as much as crackheads and alcoholics and executives. at least by and large immigrants believe america is a great place and show a desire to be here, to earn acceptance here. how many people born in america don't show the same enthusiasm? how many americans are content to leech off of social welfare programs and have ten babies who all grow up to do the same? anyone who has shown real desire and capability should be allowed to be american. is american a convenience of birth? a designation of wealth? or a mindset and spirit? practical or ideal i guess. there's no great answer to any of the problems here, and it's hard to hear people say change has to start somewhere in support of the bill, because they didnt like that idea when applied to health care. as americans we have a responsibility to the world, and to people who deserve and need our help. if immigrants come from other countries claiming asylum from a way of life that is damning they are helped. how is this different? asylum seekers could be considered criminals by traveling here without the proper documents, or fleeing a country where it is illegal to flee. if we're americans, we should at least try to live up to that. being closed minded has never worked out well for us, but we keep going back to it. is it so bad to make hard working, patriotic people citizens, or setting up an effective program for workers and families to come here? i support borders, i support america, and it's because of this that i believe the naturalization process should be based on a sliding scale as far as fees are concerned, i believe workers should be allowed to bring their immediate family and have access to limited social programs. how much money would be made by charging less to enter for a few years but more persons per year? how much extra tax revenue is that? and sales? how much of a production increase can be possible if labor is exercised wisely? it's a better idea to make it easier to get in, than it is to make it easier to get kicked out. i'm just sayin is all. we're better than this. we can do better than this.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
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