The exclusive resort town of Aspen, Colo., has an international
reputation for high-end service and a stunning landscape of pristine
mountains, all configured to welcome wealthy tourists. Like many
communities in the U.S., Aspen depends on low-wage immigrant labor to
fuel its service economy. Also like many communities in the U.S., Aspen
passed a resolution calling on the federal government to restrict both
documented and undocumented immigration in order to preserve the
economic and cultural integrity of the nation.
But Aspen’s resolution,
passed unanimously by the city council in 1999, was different from many
others around the country in that it played up environmental concerns
as well, providing green cover for the demonization of low-income
immigrants from Latin America.