Immigration slips as major election issue in Eagle County |

Immigration slips as major election issue in Eagle County

Dustin Racioppi
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” It wasn’t that long ago when the hottest debate in the country ” and in Eagle County, Colorado ” revolved around immigration, with issues such as whether or not to build a fence along the borders, deport illegal aliens or tighten the country’s citizenship requirements.

Since Wall Street took a nosedive and the presidential race has heated up, that whole immigration topic seems like a distant memory to some people.

That doesn’t make it any less important, though, and it still strikes the nerves of locals when brought up.

“The fact that they (illegal immigrants) get more rights than we do isn’t cool,” said James Shippen, who works in the Eagle Valley. “They give them too much leeway.”

But Shippen’s flame quickly dies out when he turns his attention to other issues facing the country today, such as the economy.

“It’s not a hot-button issue anymore,” he said, both for himself and overall.

The same goes for Eagle-Vail resident James Garrettson, who has strong opinions about immigration but easily puts them aside in his everyday life. He thinks it’s the same for the candidates and Americans at the moment as the country stares down one of the biggest financial crises in recent memory.

“I’m not going to lose sleep over it, but it is B.S.,” he said, regarding lax treatment of illegal immigrants.

But putting things into perspective ” with two wars and a shaky economy challenging the country ” Russ Maiers, of Eagle, thinks the issue of immigration will be taken up again soon, simply for the reason that the presidential candidates are saying what voters want to hear right now, he said.

“(In a presidential race), they would just do whatever would give them votes,” he said. “Immigration is important. They’ll get to it soon.”

And once the smoke of the economy and election clears, Maiers said whoever’s leading the country has to take a serious look at immigration issues.

“We have the laws, and we should obey the laws,” he said. “If the laws aren’t working, we should change them. Just to say we don’t like them does nothing.”

Staff Writer Dustin Racioppi can be reached at

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