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. colorado kid

    The best way to show our displeasure with the new hate law passed in Arizona is to BOYCOTT ARIZONA. Let us take our vacations elsewhere and not spend a single dime in that hate State.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    easy!! have all the illegal wear yellow armbands so they can be easily sorted oy!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. abelpc

    If you don't want the illegals here.. QUIT Hiring them.. you feel so smug about a law to remove the "illegals" and you don't give a crap if at the same time the legal hispanic citizens are going to be racially profiled... and why aren't there penalties, fines, and such for the white business owners that hire the illegals? And which of you are going to do the jobs the illegals do? I would like to see a field of white guys picking lettuce.. don't see it happening.

    This is a pathetic attempt at patriotism by most of the posters on this board. Go out and do the jobs that they are taking from You.. Post on here that an immigrant took your House Cleaning/ Janitorial job. How would you like it if you were harassed because you look like an Illegal from Canada?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    More states should give this law chance.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hawaiikaos

    Dear Moose, illegals can and do get Arizona driver's licenses. So you better get a US passport and be prepared to show that the next time you are pulled over.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kam

    It's funny how they say it's not about race yet half of the comments here reference Mexicans and Spanish. This bill does not say that you can be stopped if they suspect you of committing a crime. That law is already on the bill. The bill states that they can stop you if they have reasonable suspicion that you might be illegal, but does not define nor provide examples of what that reasonable suspicion may be.

    This law gives a broad swath of power to the police to stop and detain anyone. If reasonable suspicion is not defined, then how can you defend yourself against a police stop? How can you prove that they were racial profiling in a court of law? You can't. Because they can make up any reason.

    Oh and out of state whites don't think you're safe. Your license doesn't count unless you come from a state in which you need to prove you are a citizen to get your ID. If not you will have to show other documents or wait for the INS to verify that you're a citizen.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. coyote123

    The question is not that these people are legal or illegal. Everyone agrees that some are illegal migrants searching for a job. The question is the right to stop and search people by race and, lets be blunt, there is no other way to do this. No obvious whites are going to be stopped and asked for papers. How would it feel to be stopped by police and asked to prove who you are? The "old boys" will not tolerate this government random stop and search and know that, being white, it won't happen to them. The Jews were first profiled by the Germans and then the Germans made up laws to make them illegal outside of their designated ghettos. Jews dyed their hair and changed their names to avoid questioning. Germans kept some Jews to make them work in needed but unwanted jobs. Cheap labor to help build the great German Nation. If I were Hispanic living in Arizona legally, I would leave rather than be made to carry papers to prove I am American. History does not look well on this kind of singling out.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Texan

    Colorado kid – good advise, we should all base our vacations on what we agree with – if you don't like gambling don't go to Vegas, if you don't like getting shot for being american don't go to Iraq, if you don't like getting popped in the pooper don't go to the swamps in the deep south. Me – I'll be vacationing at Lake Havasu.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Randy K

    NO AMNESTY !!!!!!! They are right this is not about race it is about all races athat violate our laws. Not any one group but all. Illegals are just that and need to go peacefully or by force thier choice.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. steve

    Hey Moose, ... I am a white american, If I get stopped what papers do I produce? Please read the words next time moose

    April 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt


    I NEVER SAID EVERY HISPANIC WILL BE PULLED OVER!!! And I never said you said that. I just stated a fact that we aren't a nation that practices in that behavior. Chill out. Even if just ONE is pulled over, isn't that bad? We protect every citizen equally. If even just ONE is treated unfairly, then the law can be called unconstitutional. All of the laws in our nation that have been overturned and called unconstitutional was the result of ONE case being tried in our Supreme Court. All it takes is ONE.

    And you think that because just over half of America voted on a half white half black president that racism is over and its time to move on? How ignorant. The cute little "axe...i mean ask" comments you have made along are racially tinged. Otherwise why would you TAKE THE TIME TO TYPE OUT A PURPOSEFULLY MISTAKEN WORD!!!

    Im done with you man. You are hopelessly ignorant and closed in your thinking

    April 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Melsande Smith

    I am pretty much a die hard liberal when it comes to most things, and have a few problems with a lot of what the Tea Party stands for. But I find myself completely in agreement with them on immigration. You can't fly, drive or take a tain to another country without a passport or other legal documents. Why should you just be able to walk into a country and except anything different?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Adam

    The main point behind this entire debate is flawed. Having fewer illegal immigrants in your state will not lower taxes, the money will simply be reassigned. You don't lower taxes simply because your state had a good year, you feed surpluses back into the system into another debatable category. There's always the chance of a refund, but it's more of a subjective political ploy than anything close to a guarantee.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ann

    Until people realize that it is not the immigrants legal or not that are sucking our economy dry but the GREEDY corporations and Wall Street Bankers that have shipped all our jobs, manufacturing, etc overseas for cheaper labor and less or no taxes. And the bankers who make billions from betting on loans while providing not a single useful product or entity for our society or economy. And the bankers who greedily get fees and bonuses based on lies and fraud. The big greedy corporations and Wall Street want us to believe it is the immigrants because that takes the focus off of them who are doing the real dirty work bringing down this great country.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    No one is disputing the fact that people who are here illegaly shouldn't be here. That's a given. This law allows a police officer to stop a person who he thinks may be an illegal alien and to ask for papers showing their citizenship. Since when did anyone in the US have to walk around with "papers". All of you defending this bill, explain how a police officer can tell an illegal alien from a legal immigrant worker while walking down the street. This law promotes racial profiling. I live in San Francisco and love that our local government has cut off all business ties to Arizona. This is one of the most racist bills passed in recent memory...but all you tea partiers and republicans love it. hmmmmmmmmm

    April 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
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