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. Spanish American

    Really Robert, didn't know Native Americans had laws and regulations to enter their country??? They must of protected their borders as well as our current government then. But i do know that according to today's civilized society, and according to today's laws, I came to this country LEGALLY.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Robert

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    New Revision Added 2010

    “Unless your skin is brown,
    You speak a foreign language,
    You pray to some other god or gods, or
    You use goods and services I’m paying for!”

    April 29, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    Actually Robert, Yes, I know both my Native American ancestry and my English ancestry for many generations on my Native American (Cherokee) side, and going back to the third century on my English side. Most all of my ancestors on my maternal grandmothers side where Cherokee.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. DrDaveyJones

    Can Arizona's governer run for office in California? We have way too many spineless state "leaders" here that are too afraid to offend the latino vote. Ironically, it is many of the legal immigrants who are most hurt by the huge numbers of illegal immigrants who take the jobs the legal immigrants would otherwise have.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. Spanish American

    Can Arizona's governer also run in New Jersey, please!!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. BillV

    For the record, I don't believe anyone posting here has killed any natives or owned slaves. In fact I have even forgiven the Jews for killing Jesus.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dumazz Sez

    Hey Tea Baggers.. U guys are pretty damn racist if u support this law. Why not just round up all the black people and put them back in shackles too? And all the chinese can go back to working on the railroads and doing laundry. What's next? Are we going back to segregated buses? Will blacks have to ride in the back again? But hey... White Power right? F'n Morons!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Patricia

    Okay, where the hell is this book! I want to sign it!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Patricia

    BillV, I assume you then forgave Hitler for killing Jewish people, too?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. david

    Just reading the first few posts shows how far this country hasn't come. It is a sad day but it doesn't surprise me. Too many small minds that simply think it is OK for one American to be treated differently from another American simply because of their heritage. People who say this will not happen are not living in the real World. I have no issue with closing our borders. I have no issue with tough new standards. I do have an issue with this proposed law. By the way...what is the #1 state for receiving Federal aid? Maybe the better half needs to step up and stop supporting such a bunch of losers?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mom in PHX

    Dear Dumazz Sez,

    I hope that you swallow your own vitriol and words. You are judging me. I am not judging anyone, I just want them here legally. I married an immigrant, a legal immigrant here and naturalized when he became of legal age in this country (read in age 18). I saw what it took to get through the process (his mother only several years ago became naturalized, and yes it took way to long in my opinion, several years). However, I think that in all fairness, everyone should.

    Some one here legally would have been more likely to have a driver's license valid here in the US. Some one here legally, would have been more likely to to have registered their car. Some one here legally would have been more likely to have auto insurance they paid for and would pay for the mess I had to clean up instead. Let's see, that is three laws broken right there, not counting the here illegally offense.

    Remember, I was seriously wronged in this case. I wonder how you would feel if someone landed your toddler son in the hospital and were able to skip out on their responsibilities because they were here illegally?? They, in a round about way, stole thousands dollars from me personally, let alone the tax payers.

    And all I am asking is that you come here legally and abide by the same rules the rest of us have to abide by. Come here through proper channels and obey the law, I don't think that I am being to hard on someone in this case or judging some one harshly.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. shad

    So just what is the legal process for immigration to the US? I would like to see a major news channel like CNN do a story on the options available for a Mexican who wants to come to the US.

    The answer is always NO unless you have a brother or parent already a US citizen.

    Since the answer is always NO, illegal immigration is the only alternative. There is no form to fill out, there is no line to stand in, there is nothing to apply for.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. Spanish American

    hey Dumazz (name fits your nicely), am Spanish with latinos in my family, am I racist? I think not, and I'm definitely not a "Tea Bagger". How they heck does this bill do all that you state regarding puting blacks on the back of the bus, you have no logic to your comments and quite frankly, sound pretty uneducated. Make concrete statement or none at all please. "F'n Moron" I believe thats what you called me.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave


    Racism is alive and strong in Black America. You stated that half of America voted for a half black half white candidate. Well the facts are that over 93% of BLACK people voted for O'Bama and the white vote was split 50/50. 93%, that is a fact. People, we will always have racism and bias, it is in everyone's nature, some just exhibit it more than others.

    As far as Arizona, something needed to be done. The country is broke. I live in NJ and we are cutting teachers and school programs because of budget woes. There is not one valid arguement that can be made about providing any services to anyone in the US without authorization. We are an extremely fair and kind nation overall and all it has lead to over the last 20 years in people and other countries taking advantage of us or seeing it as a sign of weakness. I am positive that most of the people that support the action that Arizona took wish that it never had to happen.

    The melting pot has runnith over and the money has run out. The middle class is shrinking and the only jobs being created besides the census jobs are service jobs. The government is telling people to eat healthier and at some point what you eat could effect your health care insurance, yet how many millions are employed by fast food restaurants?

    I beleive that Arizona's law should stay in place and be monitored by the Federal Government to use as a trial period for them to come up with a national plan that can be implemented on all our border states.

    Back to my first statement, racism and bias are strong in America.

    BTW, 87% of illegal aliens have criminal records...WOW!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. Spanish American

    Okay, where the hell is this book! I want to sign it!

    Posted by: Patricia

    Department of Immigration and Naturalization , shall I provide an address?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
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