If government won’t act | VailDaily.com

If government won’t act

Vail Daily Editorial Board

There seems to be little energy in Washington D.C. for reforming the nation’s immigration system. There seems to be little interest in either securing the border or allowing more foreign workers to come into the country legally.

There seems to be continued and adamant ” though, perhaps quiet ” support for cheap, illegal labor, particularly at a time when the economy is sputtering.

But if government won’t act, it’s up to business owners and consumers to deal with the problem.

Business, especially those like Vail Resorts that hire seasonally, are in a tough spot. While it is, of course, illegal to employ undocumented workers, the federal government is not providing a sufficient number of guest-worker visas for seasonal workers like ski instructors and bus drivers.

Ultimately, however, businesses are responsible for not hiring illegal workers and some local businesses are stepping up. Vail Resorts ” as well as the town of Vail — has shifted recruiting efforts to U.S. territories like Puerto Rico. And John Rosenfel, owner of Johnie’s Garden Center in Minturn, says his office manager has taken classes in how to spot fake documents.

“It’s easy to spot if you’ve had the training,” Rosenfeld told the Vail Daily this week. “Some companies don’t even mess with it and just hire people, but it’s important that we stay above board.”

Businesses also must be willing to eat the higher costs of legal labor. Of course, they may want to pass some of those costs onto the consumers, and we, as consumers may have to accept some of these expenses.

Meanwhile, we all have a responsibility to press our representatives to fix a system that’s long been broken.

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