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.
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  1. Stephen Powelson

    If you want to live here. Then pay taxs pay youe due's and take only that you have comeing to you. I ask for nothing more then i work for . and i have nothing more then I have paid for.

    May 2, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. Omar Castillo

    I am an American citizen serving (honorably) in the United States Marine Corps. I have black hair, brown skin, hieght wise: shorter side, my feet hurt from the miles and miles i have had to walk, run, and march in my service to this country, my body aches from the physical training I've endured for my country, Im cocky (comes with the Marine thing), I will never leave a friend or foe wanting or in need if I can help, I am currently 60 credits from a bachelors degree in Finace, i graduated with honors from my high school, I do/have done all of this because i love this country. Why do i tell you this? Because despite have had the priviledge of serving Uncle Sam there will be a day I leave the serivce there will be a day I get asked to prove that I deserve to be here (USA) by a police officer who "in the normal course of interaction with the public" will decide that he doesnt particularly like the way i paralle parked, there will be a day that my children will have to prove that they deserve to be here. My children will have it worse, not only will they be born to a Mexican born Naturalized citizen father but also a US born Indian decendant mother. So it pains me that there is still a group of people who desperatly want my mother kicked out of this country, who would shout "There is the door illegal, get out" to my father, To those individuals i say, i fight for you too and no matter how much you hate me and where i came from i will/have protec(ed) you. Im not saying accept those that do wrong but consider the Human in every "illegal" that you hate. The second you forget that these people are just that is the second we place this country on the path and mind set of those i fight against for you while you sleep, eat, vacation, insult and degrade my family, and wish for empty fields and parking lots. These people would like nothing more than to be legal citizen, unfortunalty, a hungry stomach can not wait the 15 years it took me to get my citizenship.

    May 2, 2010 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. Cecelia

    Car bomb in Time Square? Now do people understand why Arizona is trying to protect the border? Many of us are for legal immigration. What part of illegal does the rest of the country not understand? We need those who support Arizona to speak up. We need conventions and groups to start coming to our state. We need to keep our economy going forward for those who are working and are legal. I carry my driver license when I travel in the United States. I carry my passport when I travel overseas. That is the only thing our state is asking: have identification on you at all times! Those of us who are legal do....

    May 2, 2010 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. Martina

    Oh! So are you saying that Hispanics did that, Cecilia? And just where's your proof may I ask?

    As for conventions, Arizona does not deserve anymore until they shape up and Repeal that shameful immigration law of theirs that has caused so much consternation with so many across the country. The law was ill thought out and is hurting many innocent (legal) people in the process of trying to catch illegals. That is the main problem here.

    As for conventions, you can see what is being Highly Recommended at this time for Arizona:


    May 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. I'm a Democrat

    I'm hoping this type of reform comes to my state of California. Someone who illegally enters anywhere is by definition a criminal.

    You go Arizona!

    May 3, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Silverray

    All of this Proves that we need Az sb1070s in all US states especially in All Sanctuary Cities ! Does a Sanctuary City include Muslim Terrorists as well as LatMex Terrorists ?

    May 3, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Silverray

    Does anyone know if you need a permit to have a Protest , if so ,were these permits granted to Americans or Illegal Aliens & their representatives ? Pretty soon alquaka &
    homas will be burning the American Flag in the streets of homey's hood & Latmex Parkway !! ??Will they get the permit ??? Only with Laraza & all the other criminal Org's
    HELP !!

    May 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Paul

    Thank you Arizona for take action in this important issue. I’m an Immigrant, but I have been always legal in this country and for that I had to wait for my papers in my country. And always pay my taxes.

    If I might suggest another action, is that the government should apply a fee to all the money sent aboard. There are billions of dollars sent aboard by all king of immigrant’s. Money that should be used to increase our economy, and not the economy of others.

    May 3, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rachael

    Ok, here is the thing, so many people are citing discrimination against the illegal mexicans... guess what, the problem in Arizona is the Mexicans so in order to find out who is illegal they have to stop and ask all Mexicans.. I mean obviously they wouldnt ask some old white guy who looks like he burns after five minutes in the sun if he has a green card, its not discrimination its common sense. Alot of the people who are saying this law is unjust and unfair need to take a look at our past, Ellis island is full of books of records of people who came here legally and became U.S. citizens. I mean seriously people i'm tired of feeding someone else's family when I can barely afford to feed my own. If this is what it takes then the legal Mexicans here should be more than happy to provide the necessary paperwork to prove they belong here. It just helps with the process. Seriously people get your heads out of your..... well you get my point.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Daniel

    Ah Rachael, so may we assume that you are not Hispanic, therefore, this law not fitting you, is perfect for the other people it WILL Affect and intrude upon? Ah, I see.

    May 4, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Andy Lethco

    I think it should be like this. If you go to any other country illegally, you end up in jail. In America you end up with all the benefits of a tax paying citizen. Something isnt right. Having a Senetor get jailed for protesting is absurd. You are here for us not the illegals.

    May 5, 2010 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ted

    Mr. Earle,

    Desoite my misgivings about the Tea Party, you have helped to dispell many myths and misconceptions.

    May 5, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. pierce

    First of all, Lee Earle (southern?) aren't you a bit old to be wearing that pony tail?

    Secondly, I guess your ancestors signed the guestbook?

    At Ellis Island?

    Nice, huh. An open border at Ellis Island. They just opened the doors and let most of Europe in. Good for you.

    Now, please get out of the way, you and your trailer park snowbirds, and let the indigenous peoples from arizona and mexico go about their business. Immigration has never abated here. And it never will.
    So get used to it and adjust or drop out of the parade.

    And good luck with that shuffleboard tournament.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. pierce

    Oh, Rachael, you are so clueless.

    You love Ellis Island because it was an open border for Europe.

    When it comes to native and indigenous people in the southwest you want to close the border? Become Naziish with pap-ahs?
    Your dream of a white-only Ariz. won't happen. Sorry, missy. Try New Zealand. They control the natives pretty gud.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. pierce

    Tea party is a front from neonazis, businessmen Klan and Aryan Brotherhood splinter groups.
    Tea party are people you would not want to associate with because they are hate crimes waiting to happen.

    No corporate exec, no teacher, no judge, no person who does business with the public would want to be publically associated with the tea party.
    That is how its image has deteriorated so fast.

    Tea party is so brown shirt in the streets.

    May 6, 2010 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
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