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. PAZ

    Stop using Mexican in your illegal statements.This law applies to any illegals not just of MEXICAN background, or those it? your insecurity and fear of Mexicans is obvious.I can assure u MOST OF THEM are good people.VIVA LA FRONTERA .VIVA ESTADOS UNIDOS DE AMERICA!GOD BLESS THE USA. PEACE,PLEASE.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Denise

    I am white. My late husband was a LEGAL immigrant from Jamaica... I was stop for speeding on the way into El Paso from the Texas side. The police asked for my driver's license AND my son's driver's license as well. He was NOT driving but has a darker skin than me. His brother who is very light was also in the car and was not questioned. The patrolman then asked me if he was my son. I can think of NO REASON for them to question him other than his looks. If this is happening in Texas without this law, I can just imagine what would happen in Arizona.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    I think its is sad that all you people that oppose the law make everyone that support it seem racists. I haven't seen many people (maybe a few idiots or crazies) saying legal immigration should be stopped, or that Mexicans should be persecuted. The cold hard facts is the country is pushing its limits of sustainability and immigration needs to be tackled. It would be nice for it to be handled correctly so the massive riots seen in New York and Boston following mass Irish immigration could be avoided due to extremist. Part of comprehensive immigration reform, which desperately needs to be passed, should include new trade agreements that would be mutually beneficial to our neighbors to the south. The economic situation and mass corruption in the Mexican government are very important issues that are inseparably linked to immigration. I serve along blacks, whites, asians, Hispanics, Islanders, etc and they are all Americans and brothers in arms; wanting to reform illegal immigration doesn't make a person racists by any means.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Shut up Cyrus, your an idiot. You want to be mobilized. The hatred in your mind is just as bad if not worse than any white supremacist KKK vigilant. You have been baiting racist remarks from your first post. This isn't about race, but you want it to be SO BAD don't you? Your pathetic. Now that Obama is President ( I voted for him by the way) can't you just stop the racism. Or, do all the older people like you have to pass on before racism will truly end.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Des de Texas

    ATTENTION! Left-wing nuts are boycotting Arizona! Finally, there's a place we can go to get away from them! Thank you, left-wing crazies 🙂

    April 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Phage0070

    Jacob, equal protection does not include immunity from the consequences of breaking the law. If they are in the USA illegally, they need to be deported. That is the simple truth.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JUG

    I am a USA citizen but originally born in Peru-South America..I have an accent..I look Latina and this annoys me at some point because I do not have a greencard!!! Immigration dept (Homeland Security) take the greencard away when you become a citizen and give you instead a HUGE CERTIFICATE!! stating you are a citizen of this country! I dont want to carry my HUGE CERTIFICATE EVERYWHERE!! uh oh! and if I lose that certificate it will cost me around $400 to get a duplicate...humm I dont think so!! also with legal residents people who have greencards..if they lose their greencards is $300 to get a duplicate!! that is why NOBODY carry their greencards because they are afraid to lose it! and I dont have $300 to $400 in my pocket to just spend it in something I can leave safely at home..now if they status my license that I am a citizen of USA that would change my annoyance! but so far i know I will feel harassed!! ugh!!

    April 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sarah Phillips

    SO THERE.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. derfin

    tom L
    that sounds alright to me.

    florida guy

    if breaking a law mans you can't be a citizen here, then empty the prisons into some other country. why was it ok to go into iraq? they didnt have anything dangerous to us so...

    and same to you des. they had something solid to fall back on in vietnam, iraq, germany, japan, afghanistan, most central american countries that we as a country have sodomized, and we still just went in. and we've still got presence in all of those places without justification. yeah, the natives here had a good life, until a collected army came in and gave them smallpox. nice. what's good for the goose, brutha.
    is the fact that america is largely responsible for the problems in mexico not a very good reason to relax on immigrants a bit?

    April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. C

    The passing of this bill is a big deal to the hispanic population because it is as so if a spotlight was following you everywhere. There are many other remedies to fix the immigration problem and pointing fingers is not one of them. Why doesn't the US government invest more money on border control instead of giving it away to people who are to lazy to work and live off food stamps, welfare or unemployment. These are the people who should be controlled specially now that the new healthcare is going to be given to everyone who can't afford it!

    I understand that illegal immigrants do not pay taxes. However, we all know that not everyone in the US does it either, especially those who live off the government's money. So those who do pay taxes (me being one of them), we're also paying to support the poor and lazy people who sit at home waiting each day for the unemployment or welfare check to arrive so they can spend it on booze, cigarettes, etc.

    My point is, why differentiate the hispanic population. They are the ones who love to work and will do the jobs that other Americans won't do. Why not give those people a chance to become legal and actually have a civilized life. Those type of people are not causing any harm to anyone, they're just trying to support their families like everyone else. If people are really worried about the drug wars affecting US as it is in Mexico, then others measures should be considered.

    Before you make any judgments on this comment or any other, also think, why just the hispanic population?? Why not Asians, Africans, Indians and so on. This is one of my biggest reasons why this law is being looked as racial profiling.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marc

    Cyrus Jones,
    When your brothers were taken from the shores by boat from the white man it was because they were captured and sold to the white man by other brothers of yours. If you are going to go down that road at least know that slaves were commonly sold to whites by other africans. They raided other villages consistently and took captive the men, women, and children and then sold them into slavery. So your brothers sold your brothers to the white man. There are white slaves, asian slaves, every color, always has been even today. You were never a slave, you do not know anyone that was a slave. I did not own any slaves nor do I know anyone that did. The race card is old and tired and is a weak man's excuse for his failings in life. It is always easier to blame someone else. How about the Jews? They were enslaved long before your "brothers" were and driven from their homeland til none remained then they were persecuted and slaughtered, should they play that card too? 2010, time to move on.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Keith

    Hey LEFT WING protesters, why don’t you go hug a tree then march down the the White House and tell President nObama to complete the wall along the boarder. That might be the only real thing he will accomplish in his 4 years.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dr. Obama

    Join us now or you are a racist!

    April 29, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. Patricia

    The majority of these comments are so offensive and unintelligent, and they portray all of the (legal) north americans in such a bad light. Not only are these comments embarrassing the individual poster, but also the country and everything that it supposedly stands for. For example, "ME"–you're "shocked at all of the non-American Americans" and yet you, as an American American (I presume), are telling someone to go commit suicide for their opinion because it contradicts your own? Calling them all pussies? How American American of you! Also, Mark D., I don't think you can compare two entirely different bills. I doubt YOU voted the same on both bills, so why criticize those who voted yes on one and no on the other. Also, in response to your responses to both Cryus Jones and Ruth– I have to say that I think the greatness of the country is in question when ignorant, impolite people like you and others are in it....talk about making yourself look like an idiot. I'm sure you and your (probably white, middle to upper class) family feel that you've "compensated more than enough" for the past, right?

    April 29, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mike

    What is wrong with all of you?

    You say it's ok because legal immigrants have nothing to fear? What if they forget their papers at home? You say it's okay to make that a requirement because it will apply to everyone? Exactly how many white people do you think would be asked for their papers?

    April 29, 2010 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
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