All the foreigners’ fault, sure |

All the foreigners’ fault, sure

Matt Zalaznick

Is there any problem that can’t be blamed on Hispanic immigrants? Apparently not, judging by some of the comments posted to the Vail Daily’s Web site. On Eagle County’s proposed child-care tax, one responder wrote: “More of this taxpayer-funded, free government give away will only encourage more illegal aliens to move into Eagle County, making our situation worse, not better.”The county’s new family planning clinics sparked even more anti-alien anguish, such as, “Here they go again. The county spending yet more money on illegal immigrants.” And: “(That) 90 percent of teen births in Eagle County are to Hispanics is cultural! And this is why these kids fail in our schools – and this is 99.9 percent due to illegal immigration.”There’s even a comment about how rudely some people use their cell phones drove one caller to complain about Hispanic cashiers at the supermarket gossiping to each other in Spanish while checking out customers. The caller said this caused the chatty cashiers to sometimes screw up during checkout. Oh no! Change-making errors! Naturalized citizens are being over-charged for cantaloupe! Getting back 12 cents less than they’re owed. The Hispanics are stealing our hard-earned money. America is doomed. But haven’t these commentators attacked only the most obvious of ills caused by illegal immigration. They may be race-baiting, they may be xenophobic, but they have no imagination. Take pine beetles. Can it be mere coincidence that both the pine beetle problem and the illegal immigration problem seem to be boiling over at the same time? Plus, pine beetles certainly seem un-American. If a tree is going to fall in the forest in this country, is it going to be taken down by a chain saw wielded by a true-blue American logging conglomerate? And how can you blame the homeowners who’ve built their mansions farther and father into the forest, stymieing Mother Nature’s efforts to take care of her own forests. Her fires cannot burn off all the dead trees, killed by the beetles, because homeowners demand any and all fires, no matter how integral a part of the natural cycle, be snuffed. They’re just defending their constitutional right not to have their beautiful mountain vistas ruined by charred pine trees. And there seems to be a correlation between increasingly warmer weather and the increasing number of illegal immigrants pouring across the border. Just think of all that carbon dioxide being spewed out by all those law enforcement officers who have to chase illegal immigrants around the country. I bet that accounts for a lot more carbon dioxide than what’s pumped out by the mega-SUVs some of us naturalized citizens insist on driving around even though we have no major appliances, off-road vehicles or baby whales to haul in the vast open spaces in the back of our Hummers, Navigators and Escalades. Hey, we’re just exercising our constitutional right to boost our ego at any expense. Right here in Eagle County, it seems like construction is everywhere – filling in the valley, crawling up the hillsides, dotting the forests, hiding out in the deep woods. It’s nice that some altruistic developers, despite their concerns about gobbling up all the area’s vacant lands, have thought up projects just to keep illegal immigrants occupied. If they weren’t provided with construction jobs, who knows how they’d spend their days? I guess urbanization of the mountains is a small price to pay for making sure idle, undocumented foreigners aren’t loitering or sitting outside their trailers with no shirts on. So I suppose if it’s for a good cause, our Realtors will be able to stomach selling the multi-million dollar condominiums we have no choice but to build. Forget our local veterans, there should be some kind of monument to the developers who sacrifice local open space and riverbanks just so illegal aliens aren’t reduced to panhandling or causing some other such nuisance. Keeping those immigrants working costs money – a developer needs a few million dollars to get his five-star hotel/timeshares/conference center/health spa complex through the permit process and to the stage where he can start paying undocumented workers.And if those developers and Realtors get filthy rich in the process, just remember – they’re only doing it for the good of the community. City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or Check out his blog at, Colorado

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