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. icamp

    As an Arizonan I am glad to see all of the positive comments on this post. Thank you all for the support.If you don't live here it's a hard concept to understand.

    My husband is currently out of work and can't even get a lawn mowing job right now. If illegals leave it will open up some opportunities that are occupied by them now. Just this week a supermarket was audited and fired over 300 illegal employees, bet you didn't hear about this. My husband would gladly take one of those jobs. Hopefully once the exodus happens, some of the suppressed wages in AZ will rise as Americans take the jobs that they should have been offered in the first place. (and yes Americans will do the jobs that illegals do) Also, my husband does not speak Spanish so he can't even apply for a good part of the jobs available. Is this fair as an American citizen? Yes many businesses will close, but mainly the ones who cater to the illegals. Maybe they shouldn't have been around in the first place. Either way the market will correct itself.

    Yes its sad to see families separated, yes profiling is bad, but my family is struggling right now, and can't afford to pay for the services these folks require. It's not about race, it's about resources, and there just aren't enough to go around right now.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Des de Texas

    Hey, all you morons who keep comparing this invasion to the European settlers of 400 years ago: Give it up. It's not the same. Europeans didn't come here to thrive off of government programs put in place by Indians. Europeans were technologically and diplomatically superior to Indians. Illegals are not superior to the current inhabitants in any way, shape or form. They drain our society. I'm sure the Indians who run the multi-million dollar casino in my town have no hard feelings.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. TODD


    April 29, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. jason

    Sorry. i dont see a flood of illegal Koreans turning the southwest US into a gigantic toilet. Instead of crying and playing the race card, sometimes if the shoe fits you should own up to wearing it. I cant wait till something like this gets passed in Texas. i do find it funny that CNN would tag a tea party member with this, especially since every administration has pushed doing anything about this to the back burner for as long as i can remember and i can remember back to carter. i thought the press was supposed to be non-partisan. OOPS!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Grant

    Thank you Arizona for finally taking some action on an issue that has plagued this country for far too long. If Europeans, Asians, and Africans has to wait and enter legally, the Mexicans should too. What are we saying to those who came in legally and followed the law if we suddenly pass illegal immigration off as excusable? I am sorry, but Mexicans are no exception to the laws of a sovereign nation. If you want to come here, do it right or stop complaining when we pass laws that enable us to catch you.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. B laqra

    It may be a good political move, but given the current economy condition, it is a WRONG MOVE. Given the number of illegal immigrants at around 650 k , i Strongly believe Arizona will suffer economilcaly from this move:

    Increase of rental vacancy 🙁 more than 100k unit will be vacant) which may result in more foreclosures.

    Decrease in demand for retail products (food, clothing,..etc).

    Decrease in Tax revenues.


    we shall see

    April 29, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. ?!? what the

    Non-citizens have no rights? Are you joking... due process applies to everyone... citizen, tourist, illegal immigrant...

    87% of illegal aliens have criminal records???? That doesn't sound right at all... maybe all male adult illegals but 87% of all ??? yeah all the 3 year olds have records...

    April 29, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. JDL

    Why is there so much hatred in this Nation (World) even those who say they are God fearing people discriminate against one another just for the color of there skin or the way that they may talk Jesus said in Luke 6:37 – Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive and u will be forgiven…. We fight for things that in the end will have no value to us, and when your judgment comes what will u say when God asks you why have u shown so much hatred to your brethren??? We fight for a land that once we pass away is just another piece of land and won’t help us in our day of judgment. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love thy neighbor…..and if some one mistreats u show them love, and kindness. Just know that all we are doing with this hatred is storing up wrath in the Day of Judgment. This country was built on giving those who had less a better life but if we turn away those who are in need of help we are no better then those nations that give there people no way of life. People come to this nation because we have always said that this is a country of opportunity a place where dreams can come true where u can have a new start. Now we are a nation who hates those who aren’t from here, we are a nation that does not want to give anyone a chance that isn’t originally from here. This nation once was known to be; a country of freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All different faces, and races fight for this country we all bleed the same way, and the color of our blood is the same……I just ask u to think about what our Country stands for and what it was built on before we keep continuing to hate one another just for the color of our skin or the accent we may have….don’t forget we are all human. Proud to Be an American and proud of where my Family originates from Mexico

    God is my Strength; Christ is my love, the Holy Spirit is my guide

    April 29, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Murlowe

    Canadian Border come and go as you please, work as you want. Mexican border we can go as we please. But my brothers and sisters there cannot what is wrong with this picture. You cant blame the Latinos for the economic problem we are having. Hipocrits in Arizona

    April 29, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Layla

    I have to agree 100 percent with these gentlemen. Immigrants are welcome here, but only if they come legally.

    If Congress won't enforce our laws, the people will.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Patricia

    Ah yes, Spanish American, please supply me with the address, and I will stop there on my way home from work tomorrow. I really appreciate it! Also, as a side-note, you're comment a few back to Dumazz in which you tell them they "sound pretty uneducated", well, I just want you to be aware that everyone can seem a lot more educated if they just proofread their posts. Just a helpful tip for you! 🙂

    April 29, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. AJ

    I am currently an Arizona resident and here's my two cents...

    I believe that something needs to be done about the illegal immigration problem particularly in AZ. We have had too many cases of human smuggling and the murder of an Arizona rancher was the last straw. In certain cases I might support a law like this, It is illegal to be in the USA illegally and until the federal government responds the states that are dealing with the problem on a regular basis can't be expected to just sit on the sidelines while residents (legal ones) have to deal with a lot of issues.

    However the extent of this law is too great, it goes to far and I believe it is unconstitutional.
    Also maybe this law would be ok if we had a better sheriff, but Joe Arpaio doesn't have a good track record when it comes to human rights/civil liberties

    Lastly, a boycott would not hurt the politicians who passed this bill, but mainly the tens of thousands of arizonans who protested this law and everyone else who just wants to get back to finding a job or figuring out how they are going to pay their next biil.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. BillV

    You almost got my point, do you hate germany because hitler tried to erradicate the Jews? Hitler was an aberration of mankind, but I don't hold the current country of Germany responsible for what he did. Was I the one that came here and killed off the natives? You don't know me that well, but I think you'll probably believe me when I say "No".

    April 29, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. robert h

    Nobody said we don't want immigrants. We (the true American people) just don't want every person who looks different to be stopped and asked to show their papers like the frikkin' Nazi's used to do.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Darcy

    Its the pot calling the kettle black scenario looking at it all from the eyes of an aboriginal. all of you are boat people. Indian people have been here long before White people made a book of rules and thumping people with the bible.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
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