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. samgut

    Notice all the people ,or like 99.9 percent of people are white, who speak in support of this measure. Ironic...or one sided?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. a proud canadian

    Hi Everyone,, Maybe the tea people should either switch to decafe or drink canadian beer,,,they would be a much more happy group!! 🙂

    April 29, 2010 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cyrus Jones

    Dear Dave and those who cast stones within their glass homes...

    You can't call me racist when I am suggesting the same treatment for others that I have had to endure all of my life and my father and grandfather.. and well before that.. have had to endure.

    To the citizens of Arizona... Embrace your new law... It will keep your streets clean of people who are here against the laws of our land.

    To the citizens of America... Follow Arizona's lead and enact similar legistlation and drive those who come here illegally from our shores..

    To the citizens of the world... Welcome the United States, lead by the great state of Arizona to the 21st century...

    My life has been spent fighting against injustice.. The greatest injustice we face today is the illegal encroachment of people from all lands on our shores.. Please post a comment starting with:

    I AM HERE LEGALLY!!!

    If you are in support of people being in our country legally, and, therefore, deserving of any rights that MY ancestors gave all of you through our trials and tribulations... It is the slaves that gave you all your freedom.. Do not forget that..

    -Cyrus Jones

    April 29, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Patricia

    Des, I've noticed a lot of non-"libtards" using unnecessary terms such as "libtards" to try and get the upper hand in their side of the argument. also, fyi, that is not how you spell "irrelevant".

    April 29, 2010 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Des de Texas

    @Jason

    The problem is that most of the people commenting on here have no idea what it's like to live near the border or even live in a border state. They are, however, the experts on it and all of us border state residents are just a bunch of racists. I agree with you. Let them live in El Paso or Brownsville for a while. Actually, just take them to a bad part of town at night and drop them off and let them find their way out.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. Spanish American

    Patricia, no problem....I'm actually getting a bit frustrated myself and catch myself every once and awhile going overboard with my comments. I just hate being called raciest only because I favor a stronger immigration bill. For those saying its not right, I sure don't see an alternative to solve the problem.

    Anyone?

    April 29, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. BEERBELLIAN

    with all the "lol"'s and "sign the guest book" Moose must be a 15 year old girl with a facebook acct. LOL!!!!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. JOHN DOE

    Samgut,
    99.9 % are Americans; not criminal interlopers.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Randall

    I've been reading a lot of the conversations happening on various news sites regarding Arizona's new immigration bill, and a common theme stands out. Much of the conversation attempts to address the propriety of dealing with immigrants who have circumvented the appropriate legal processes. Many point out, rightly, that we should enforce the laws we have and that this is the main purpose of the immigration bill. Others point out that such immigrants are themselves made victims of the traffickers who bring them into the country. Yet more elaborate on the very real need citizens have for the jobs being filled by those without permission to be here.

    All of these are good points, but they all miss the heart of the issue with the current immigration bill. This bill attempts to give permission to deprive honest citizens of the right to go about their business without the fear of unreasonable search. To say that police must stop anyone they "reasonably believe" to be an illegal immigrant begs the question, "On what criteria will that judgment be made?" Do police receive special training which allows them to distinguish between illegal immigrants and natural citizens on sight?

    We do need to enforce the laws that regulate immigration in our country, perhaps most of all in states along our southern borders. However, the laws we have must also respect the principles on which our country was founded and the guidelines set in place by the body of law we have established over the last 234 years. In its current form, the Arizona immigration bill does not meet these standards.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. D

    Maybe if you didn’t treat brown people like dirt they wouldn’t kick your butt.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Casey

    This is a rampant problem that is spread country wide. Illegals are a burden to our economy, Get here legally and pay taxes like the rest of us! Even in PA there are tons of illegals just look in a restaurant. Its not racism to care about our melting pot and to worry what is coming over the boarders. Its not fair that illegals have jobs that Americans do need especially in this depression that was caused by free trade and the outsourcing of jobs. If I remember correctly 1 + 1 still equals 2. Just like if we produce goods and quit giving our money to China we would be much better off. Free markets dictate slavery, period. Thank You Arizona for trying to do the right thing.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. Salvador Gutierrez

    I am not in disbelief of this law passing, especially in southwestern states like Arizona. We quickly forget that these states once belonged to Mexico and were taken by force in a war that was waged based on a lie, similar to the war we waged in Iraq. The Mexicans that once owned land in states like Arizona were promised citizenship and their land but once all was said and done they were stripped of their land and in many instances deported. The Unites States is proud of granting people rights and freedoms not found in any part of the world but in this instance we failed. The illegal immigrant is a constant reminder of this failure and the emotional response to this is racism and hatred. We took this land from Mexicans by force in an unjust war and deep down our country cannot stand to see a Mexican illegal since it is our fault they are illegal in the first place. I hope that this law does not come into effect but if it does, it represents our efforts to avoid looking at ourselves in the mirror.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Des de Texas

    samgut, maybe as one sided as 98% of blacks supporting Obama!

    April 29, 2010 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dumazz Sez

    John Doe,

    U are another with little compassion and pity in your heart. I hope u lose your job and get put in a similar situation as he is. Then maybe u will understand the pain of not being able to provide for your family. Was it the man's fault that he was born in pratically a third world country? Atleast he is trying to be a man and trying to provide for his kids. Thats more than I can say about many american fathers.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Des de Texas

    D, you apparently know nothing about the Tea Party besides what Keith Oberman has told you.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
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