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. Moose

    Correct – BUT MUCH LESS ILLEGALS my friend!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Mr. Tea,

    I never said it forced cops to stop anyone who looks illegal, please re-read my post. I am saying that the law doesn't define what "reasonable suspicion" is. Please define for me what "In the course of normal interactions with the public" means. Also, isn't being in the country when you are not a legal citizen doing something potentially illegal? HOW DO YOU DETERMINE IF THEY ARE LEGAL OR NOT? Can you explain this to me? Since most of the illegal immigrants in Arizona are mexicans, the vagueness of the law makes it possible to argue that "they looked like a mexican, so I stopped them." That is the single issue I and most opponents have with the law. We are not "playing the race card". But giving cops the ability to stop anyone they think is illegal encroaches on US citizens' rights.

    When Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, we rounded up all of the Japanese to make ourselves safe. We have since apologized for that, because in this country, WE DO NOT JUDGE PEOPLE BY THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN. I would have no problem with this law and would support it whole-heartedly if it explicitly stated that a cop is not allowed to pull someone over because they looked like an illegal immigrant.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Moose

    I love all the referecences to the Constitution, Declaration of Independence.....HA! That's all well and good. Here's the upshot....boy I wish I could complicate this....

    IF YOU'RE IN THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY, THEN LEAVE!!! No mas!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TammyB

    Bruce: Yes I did read about equal protection. You need the read the law that was just signed by Gov Brewer. It does not say "stop all Mexicans". It clearly states, just as the Federal Law does that in the course of normal duties (traffic stops, loitering stops, etc) that a police officer can ask about citizen status. Everyone is spouting this "show me your papers" stuff....it's as simple as showing that you are here legally, by Green Card, Work Permit, etc. I have to show my AZ Driver's License everytime I am stopped, or if I am asked by a police officer to see my ID, I comply. Equal protection also means that everyone is treated equally under the LAW.....if you do something ILLEGAL, there are consequences. It's not that hard to understand. And as to Arizona and safe drivers....well, hate to sound crappy but since AZ became the "go to" State for everyone from other parts of the country and other countries, everyone brings their own little laws from where ever they are from. You will find that most people who drive here, are not from here (I am a native Arizonan). Guess you would have to take that up with all the drivers here who came here from somewhere else!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Moose

    The Moose has spoken!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mr. Tea

    I always have rats in my garage, but I make it as unattractive to come in by removing the food and shelter. And yes, I just equated illegals with vermin-that's what criminals are: vermin. I'd say the same thing to a Goldman Sachs exec too (if I could get through the bodyguards)

    April 28, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MegaLyl

    Wow. I'm surprised to see a 'balanced' view (IE the other side) from Communist News Network, instead of it's usual lib bias / propaganda. I totally support the Arizona bill. If our political obamanations in Washington won't do their job, then let the states protect their borders. Oh, and it IS about Mexicans versus Americans, but it is the Mexicans who pushed this whole issue that direction, not us.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wasp

    Hope NV passes a similar law. If not then I'm movingto AZ

    April 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Karyn

    Thank you-Thank-you and again Thank-you Lee Earle, you hit the nail on the head. I think I want to move from SoCal to Arizona. I'm sick and tired of paying for illegals in our schools, hospitals and jails.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Moose

    Here's the only question that needs to be axed...sorry...asked.

    LET ME SEE YOUR "PAPERS" - AKA DRIVER'S LICENSE.

    No DL = Buh-BYE!

    We like LEGAL immigrants.

    ILLEGAL Immigrants...NOT SO MUCH!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt

    I doubt any white person in Arizona is going to be stopped on suspicion of being here illegally. Must be why you don't care what happens to other citizens who happen to share the same race as illegal immigrants.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alfred Cotton

    It sure would be nice if Bruce had as much sense as Joe, the one bruce is attacking.
    Websters Dictionary can tell you the meaning the word ILLEGAL.

    Bud

    April 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Law Abiding American

    I'm voting Moose for President!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mr. Tea

    Matt-
    This law is like seatbelt laws in a lot of states. A cop can see you not wearing a seatbelt and has no power to stop you because the seatbelt law is a secondary offense. Now if you are speeding and the cop sees, while ticketing you for speeding, that your seat belt is off, then you are hammered. Same thing here, just being Latino (i.e. not wearing a seatbelt) is not a "nomal interaction." But, if the car is speeding and the driver has no ID, now there is major trouble.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    It's either the rule of law or it's not. Those that support illegal immigration should be jailed and deported just like those who are here illegally. The business owners are probably illegal as well. We have plenty of people in this country out of work who will take the jobs the illegals stole in the first place.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
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