Consider unintended consequences of IMAGE
February 17, 2013 12:36 AM | 1238 views | 10 10 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I have been following the articles and arguments pro and con for Cobb County to require all contractors who do business with the county to be IMAGE certified. As a business professional working for a large corporation who has had to manage compliance projects, my first reaction to the news articles was to agree with Commissioner Helen Goreham’s cautious approach.

I understand we need to hold employers accountable if they hire illegal aliens, and there need to be consequences when they do. I also know from experience how time-consuming compliance is. My company estimates that we spend about 25 percent of our resources on compliance. That’s 25 percent that could be applied to productive, revenue-generating work.

So the government says it’s a “free” program. OK, so there aren’t any fees that need to be paid, allegedly. But what about the time spent by company resources on registering and maintaining compliance? What about small companies that don’t have the resources to dedicate to the program? Those companies would have to pull resources off of productive work, resources that they may not be able to afford to pull off.

The government web site lists members who fall into one of three categories: charter, endorsee and certified. Has anyone involved in this argument talked to any of the members to find out how much time was involved in becoming certified and in staying certified? Has it really benefited them?

The county needs to take a serious look at the IMAGE program and really consider unintended consequences so that small businesses already struggling in this economy are not completely left out because they can’t afford to dedicate resources to a federal program that could be just as messed up as Obamacare.

Kate Sullivan

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Rich Pellegrino
February 20, 2013
It is oh so amusing that some of the writers here are tripping over themselves to endorse and support the "big" federal government and bureaucracy that they so abhor. I guess its a matter of who or what you hate more.
February 18, 2013
All we have heard are the Tea Party rants about how easy compliance is and that any politician who does not favor this must be a fool or worse. Now it turns out the uneducated Tea Party types are simpletons who don't know what they are talking about. I'm sure you will recognize them by uneducated hissy fits as they try to condemn the Sullivan letter.
Devlin Adams
February 17, 2013
You say your comapny estimates it spends 25% of its time on compliance? Ms. Sullivan, let me say that they either have a poor estimater or they run an extremely sloppy organization.

As has been pointed out before, which you choose to ignore, the cost is neglible and the time required is also neglible.

All of your letter is an obvious attemtp to obfuscate the real facts.

Sounds like you work for a company that hires illegals and doesn't want to change.
Thomas J. Palmer
February 20, 2013
@Devlin Adams: Your critique of this company would be considered credible IF you have operated a similar organization and had been forced to deal with federal regulations. HAVE YOU ? Just read some of the USDA regulations concerning the sale of cabbage. That may give you clue as to Kate Sullivan's comments being quite accurate.
@thomas j palmer
February 20, 2013
This company?? Don't know which was referenced.

Cabbage?? The issue was IMAGE.

You may be correct sir. I am sure dealing with the government is an unpleasant experience, but I do not understand the connection of your post to the issue.
Kenneth D. Parrott
February 23, 2013
@Devlin Adams,

* Pythagorean theorem: . 24 words.

* Lord’s prayer: ………………. 66 words.

* Archimedes’ Principle: 67 words.

* 10 Commandments: ……….. 179 words.

* Gettysburg address: .. 286 words.

* Declaration of Independence :1,300 words.

* US Constitution with 27 Amendments :7,818 words.

* US Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: ….. 26,911 words.

Do you now understand the meaning of Mr. Palmer's reference to cabbage? And, from your comments, it seems to me there may be some other things you don't quite know as much about as you think you do.
@kenneth d parrott
February 25, 2013

I thank you for explaining the reference to cabbage. I do not see the necessity to criticize my lack of understanding of the reference of that one statement. As a long time reader of the MDJ, I had assumed you were one of the good guys, so to speak. I had thought you were a reasonable, conservative contributor.

I went to the ICE site. I checked the documents and I saw no great effort to register and comply.

I see the same arguments that I heard in the past about E-Verify. I had to register with E-Verify and found it an easy effort.

Next-- I am not Devlin Adams. I was trying to discover the meaning of Palmer's cabbage reference. You apparently saw something in my post that you found as a challenge.

Finally--I really do not care if it does take 25% effort--which it will not-- I, like D Adams want to protect American jobs. You sir have come down on Goreham,'s side of the issue.

Thus , I say to you, "And, from your comments, it seems to me there may be some other things you don't quite know as much about as you think you do."

Kenneth D. Parrott
February 26, 2013
@NOT-Devlin Adams,

Touche, whoever you are. Based only on your "This company??" comment, you are correct, and in tune with my wife; who also says I don't know as much as I think I do. Please accept my apology. As for my agreeing with Goreham, there are valid points on both sides of this issue.
February 17, 2013
Isn't it amazing how companies don't have any problems staffing and overseeing most compliance, but when it comes to making sure their employees are legal workers and not slave labor from the south, they just don't see why any laws should be followed?

Overregulation is a problem for small businesses, but here's a hint for small companies, especially in the construction and landscape fields: stick with obviously legal labor, people who have real documentation and not fake, people with a real work history in America, and your time checking them out will be negligible. In other words, HIRE AMERICAN workers. It can't be that difficult with the unemployment rate in the double digits out there.
Pat H
February 17, 2013
Employers should be spending a minimum amount of time checking employees backgrounds - are they child molesters, or violent criminals hiding from the law, etc.? Well, there is one way and the time is minimal - E-Verify.

IMAGE is done by the Feds and verifies that an employers is using E-Verify. And, if a mistake is made, the employer is absolved of blame.

What is the downside? Identity theft is lessened, legal employees are hired, unfair advantage for employers skirting the law is eliminated.
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