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. GuaymasJim

    This gentleman (I hope) makes a huge mistake. This country is not his house; it is OUR house. And it appears that the majority of the owners of this house disagree with him.

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

    Dumazz Sez,

    Let him feed his kids in his OWN country; not, on our backs.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. Matthew Lee

    its funny that Ludder and Earlie have to explain (show) why there not racist.

    "Both men say this is not about hating Hispanics: Ludders has a home in Mexico, and Earle lives in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood."

    because of that you know in the back of their minds they KNOW its racist. they say that to protect the bill and to protect them selfs, Why to protect them selfs?
    once again they know there wrong but don't want to accept it in their hearts. Or maybe don't truly understand...

    P.S. Because if they didn't lie to them selfs, there wouldn't be this country, capitalism, o but you probable would still have your job?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Spanish American

    Jude, the world is laughing at us??? Most of the world actually has immigration laws they enforce, damn right they're laughing at us for not controlling our own borders!!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. ichimelo

    OK...I get it. If a law is unfair or not just we should just blindly accept and enforce it? No, we should change it and/or develop a process that is legal, fair, and makes economic and social sense. The problem with the Arizona law is that it is not enforceable. The bigots, racists, and mean spirited love it as it allows them to hide behind "it's the law" statement. It was also the law when Nazi Germany enslaved the Jews and it was also the law when the U.S. encarcerated the Japanese citizens. It was also the law when those from Africa were bought and sold as slaves. Some laws do not belong and need to be replaced with something enforceable and benefits all persons. Many of our laws specify protection "for all persons". One of the beauties of the U.S. justice system are the civil and human rights that protect "all persons" not just legal citizens. The right answer is:

    1. Fund the necessary resources to secure the border andreduce/eliminate the illegal flow.
    2. Fine all illegals $X and note their record with the misdameanor offense.
    3. All illegals register for a "legal designation" that records them into the system with additional requirements for ongoing registration etc.
    4. Use the $ collected to fund the program (note: a few PCs in each major city over a 60 day period should allow for 90%+ capture).
    5. Bigots and racists should be deported to......Iran? Iraq? Afghanistan?


    April 29, 2010 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Afell

    Undocumented workers are exploited day in, day out. At the very minimum, if an employer decides not to pay, then those undocumented workers have little or no recourse to seek redress. It is to their benefit to eliminate the gray labor market that has no oversight or protection for the worker, such as a workplace that meets OSHA safety regulations and uses fair labor practices, and fight for a legal means to find employment in this country, even if it means they have to go back to their home country.

    We need to close the illegal activity along our borders and instead create a legal framework through which these workers can seek legal employment and employers can entice workers to come the the USA to work for them legally at a prevailing wage.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. tom

    I live in Atlanta and have known an illegal immigrant who is homeless. This person is a crack addict. This person tries to find legimate work every day to support that habit. This person has been arrested at least 20 times in the last five years and has never been turned over to immigration due to lack of id. Many dollars have been wased placing this person in jail with no drug rehab. This person uses a different name each time in jail. The police know this and don't care.. What is wrong with this picture. Feds are not enforcing the law and the states need to follow
    Arizona's lead

    April 29, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Patricia

    Spanish American, I appreciate that post. I am in no way trying to defend anyone's racist or hateful comments, whether they are directed at those who are in favor or those who are against the law or anyone else for that matter. I truly regret that that is how I have been interpreted. I live in Oklahoma, but I'm sure I could Google the address.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mario

    As a legal citizen of this great nation and state. When I have had to identify myself to some random police officer for the umpteenth time...and then decide I have had more than enough of that... I will have nothing to fear form refusing the millionth and one time,,,will I??

    April 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Des de Texas

    John Smith, thanks for chiming in on what's going on in America. Now mind your own business... oh, and mind the droves of illegal Africans and Muslims invading your country. Who is your president... eh, prime minister again? That's right! No one cares! 🙂

    April 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Spanish American

    This gentleman (I hope) makes a huge mistake. This country is not his house; it is OUR house. And it appears that the majority of the owners of this house disagree with him.

    Posted by: GuaymasJim


    Ummm Guaymass....70% of Arizona support this bill and 60% of nation do as well. Say again....and yes, this is our house, please leave.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. NavajoWoman

    First, i would like to say that I am a full Navajo(Dine) woman and proud to be one. Based on my relgious morals and values, and cultural heritage, it is VERY, VERY sad to see many nations from across the globe fight over a piece of land that was stolen in a VERY ugly way. From stories passed down through generations, I have always known the Mexicans to be our neighbors. Here is proof, I speak my native language and Spanish, too. Navajo and Spanish use similar words. For example, Domingo is Sunday in Navajo and Spanish. This is because we lived on the same land and traded goods for many years, and learned to live among one another with respect.
    Second, everyone (poliliticians, american citizens, and people from all walks of life) say 'the law'. Do you know what American Law is based on? Yes, the Constitution. And do you know what the Constitution is based on? Probably not, it's 'the English Law'. Right, "England' not 'America'. Now, if everyone is saying law, law, law and it's based on English Common Law, why can't America created it's own law. Makes you think, doesn't it?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dumazz Sez

    Hey Spanish... its called sarcasm moron. Im trying to be extreme here.. or dont u understand sarcasm. go back to grade school. or maybe its just ironic that my name just happens to be what it is... Moron.

    and i was talking about going backwards in history and in human ethics, but i guess your brain is too slow to understand that concept.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. D

    I’m not joking the “Tea Party” shouldn’t even be called a party they have not submitted their paperwork or declared their contributors. This is no political party this is a for profit business rolling the dimwits. I don’t know it this is funny or just sad.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jude

    All countries have illegals who are abused and used by illegal employers. Once legal, no one would do "those" jobs under "those" conditions. Desperation leads to very jaded lives. Legalize drugs, tax and disband cartels. Cartel $$$$ buys MX cops and will buy AM cops in a heartbeat. Develop Mexican friendly "guest" worker programs so one can work and go back home to the country they love at the end of the day. FINE and INcarcerate illegal employers who promote illegal activities.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
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