Immigration Bill Addresses America’s Foreign Ski Instructor Shortage

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Several thousand people rally in Washington, D.C. to show their support for immigration reform on April 10, 2013.
Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Apparently the Gang of Eight blew past the early March deadline for completing their immigration reform bill because they wanted to make sure no group was overlooked — particularly not those who happen to affect their home states. The Wall Street Journal notes that the senators buried quite a few pet projects in the bill's 844 pages, including provisions that benefit the cruise-ship industry, Irish immigrants, and the meat industry (and Marco Rubio, Chuck Schumer, and Lindsey Graham, respectively).

Colorado's Michael Bennet pushed for a provision that allows foreign ski instructors to enter the U.S. under the same program professional athletes use, and like all of the senators, he said he has a good explanation. Melanie Mills, president of Colorado Ski Country USA, explained that instructors who speak foreign languages are hard to find, and it's a safety issue when they can't communicate with tourists. "The perfect example of this is a certified ski instructor that speaks Portuguese," said Mills. "We can advertise anywhere, and we just can't find somebody who meets those qualifications." Sadly, at immigration protests the signs reading "Stop Deporting Hardworking Portuguese Ski Instructors" always seem to get lost in the crowd.