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Vail Valley’s illegal invasion

Marty Lich and Frosty Wooldridge

Let’s look at what is happening in Vail, the skier paradise. Vail employers who make obscene profits while Eagle County taxpayers pick up the tab are helping the illegal alien invasion.

In the name of illegal profit, employers are committing federal felonies with massive employment of illegal aliens.

Who suffers? Colorado taxpayers footing the educational, medical, crime and other costs created by illegal aliens.



How do the illegals suffer? They live 20 a trailer. They are an underclass. This form of modernday slavery imitates the slave ships in the 1800s for the tobacco growers in the South. In this case, the “slaves” migrate on their own into Colorado. They suffer hellish living conditions. They don’t complain. They work any number of hours. They are paid under the table.

They also break our federal laws. They depress wages for citizens of Colorado.



Employers in Vail and the owners of the resort enjoy the benefits. But what would happen if an added 5,000 skiers per day seven days a week were able to illegally pass through a ticket checker who was on the take on the main gondola at Vail? What if they all grabbed free hamburgers from a cashier who was on the take at a Vail Mountain restaurant?

It’s clearly a crime. You can bet that the ski resort would have the police on that situation like a chicken on a bug. The people on the take and the illegal skiers would be arrested, and the crime would be stopped. Lots of people would be skiing off to jail for skiing illegally.

However, that’s not happening when it comes to illegal aliens working in the valley. Recently Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi was interviewed along with an undisclosed Vail hotel supervisor on “Weekend Edition.”



The National Public Radio partial radio transcript of “Immigrant workers in Colorado”: Scott Simon, host: “Twenty years ago, native-born ski bums flipped burgers and scrubbed toilets, anything, to get a lift ticket, but times have changed. In the summer of 2001, Eagle County Commissioner Arn Menconi and other officials from the resort region went to Washington to lobby the U.S. Labor Department for a guest worker program. Menconi says the initiative was an attempt to bring illegal laborers out of the shadows.”

A longtime housekeeping supervisor in Vail offers a cautionary word to the backers of a new guest worker program. She says “back in 1986 when immigration reform granted amnesty to more than 2 million undocumented immigrants, guess what was the first thing her Mexican hotel maids did when they got their papers? Many quit their jobs and looked for better ones. And what did the employer do? Rather than raise salaries, she replaced them with new immigrants who were, as she said, hungrier for the work.”

Call the BICE and you’ll get an eternal busy signal. Yet every day, seven days a week, every employer around Vail hiring illegal aliens breaks federal laws.

The taxpayers of Vail would be grateful for a government action: Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A) states: “Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their property.”

Recruitment and employment of illegal aliens: “It is unlawful to hire an alien, knowing the alien is unauthorized to work in the United States. It is equally unlawful to continue to employ an alien knowing that the alien is unauthorized to work. (2) the employer has learned from other individuals, media reports, or any source of information available to the employer that the alien is unauthorized to work.”

Yet crimes persist 24/7.

Here is a Tipsline from an Eagle County citizen: “I need somebody to give me a tip. I need to know what my rights are as an American citizen when it comes to the illegals working in Eagle County. I know of one breaking the law, and I called the cops on him, but their hands are tied. Maybe somebody in Eagle Valley can tell me what my rights are as an American citizen. Glancing through the newspaper here, I notice there’s labor jobs for $8 hour. In 1979, I made $10.50 an hour as a laborer, not ever working in construction at all. What is going on? And then in the same breath, gas is almost doubled in price, rent is definitely doubled, God only knows how much food is, and I’m watching TV, the same evening here, and we’re

bolstering Iraq’s borders to keep out people. Wait a minute. We need to bolster our borders so we can earn a decent living. Somebody help.”

The immigration invasion places all Americans in Vail at risk. High school students are desperate for work. Wages are being suppressed. American jobs are stolen. Unscreened illegal aliens are transmitting hepatitis, tuberculosis and other diseases. With hundreds more tourists passing through the Vail area, they may be taking home a lasting reminder of their ski vacation – hepatitis. Maybe they don’t know they have a devastating souvenir yet. Hepatitis shows up only when your liver is permanently damaged.

If anyone broke the laws by allowing illegal skiers up on the mountain or someone was unlawfully handing out hamburgers at the Eagle’s Nest Restaurant, employers around Vail and the resort would force the law into action. But when it comes to their own unlawful acts of hiring illegal aliens to make obscene profits and putting the public at risk, they do everything 24/7 to keep breaking the laws of our country and not get caught.

It is time for Coloradoans to demand RICO laws be enforced.

Marty Lich of Gypsum is a retired California public deputy and has been active in immigration policies for five years. Frosty Wooldridge has traveled extensively in the Third World and written several books. The authors have had op-eds published in newspapers across the nation, including the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Christian Science Monitor.


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