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Latino Daily News

Thursday February 10, 2011

Colorado Ski Industry Worried About Effects of Arizona-Style Immigrant Law

Colorado Ski Industry Worried About Effects of Arizona-Style Immigrant Law

Photo: Aspen, Colorado

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As Colorado’s legislature considers passing laws similar to Arizona’s SB 1070, the state’s ski industry worries that such measures would result in a loss of business, particularly from potential Mexican and Brazilian guests.

A recent report revealed that tourists from Mexico and Brazil are the leading visitors of Colorado Ski Country, U.S.A., Inc.’s (CSCUSA) 22 resorts, and they’ve expressed immense concern for he impact the Arizona-style laws may effect their business.

According to information from a CSCUSA spokesperson, Colorado welcomes almost 12 million skiers annually, bringing the state around $2.6 billion a year.

CSCUSA president Melanie Milles stated, “If you’re in the business of putting out the welcome mat for foreign visitors, it doesn’t help if you create an environment of suspicion.”

Mills was referring to SB11-054, a bill sponsored by Sen. Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) that, like Arizona’s, would allow local authorities to arrest anyone they have “reasonable cause” to believe is in the United States without proper documentation. “We have to question how officers will make the determination that someone is illegal. Is it speaking a foreign language? Or wearing a different style of jacket?” Mills asked openly.

One Mexican resident said his family and friends have been coming in increasingly large groups to vacation in Colorado, but that may stop if Arizona-like legislation is passed.

“Tourists come to enjoy themselves, not to be afraid they’ll be stopped on the highway. And if the bills now being debated are approved, I’m sure that both Mexican tourists and who many who live in Colorado will think twice before going to the mountains.”