We are proud to be Americans, humbled to be Cobb County Commissioners and honored to be co-sponsors of the IMAGE ordinance.
As stewards of taxpayer monies, it is our responsibility as commissioners to ensure that those funds are spent wisely and with prudence. Taxpayers are suffering in an economy with an increasing strain on the dwindling resources they have. Unemployed legal workers pursue the few jobs that are available.
IMAGE is a tool offered by the federal government, since 2006, to combat illegal employment and reduce the vulnerabilities that help illegal aliens gain such employment through activities such as identity theft and presenting false documentation.
Contrary to what you may have heard or believe, becoming IMAGE-certified is not inevitably an arduous process. It took Cobb County close to a year to go through the process. However, business entities vary in their number of employees and the level of technology used for their human resource functions. Some businesses will take less time to complete the IMAGE application process while others may take more time.
To help businesses comply, Cobb’s local ICE agent has agreed to conduct training sessions in Cobb. In addition, we have also extended the effective date until Jan. 1, 2014 to file an application for IMAGE certification in order to allow more time for businesses to collect data for auditing and education of the process prior to applying for certification.
The ordinance we sponsor simply requires that businesses go through the IMAGE process one time to ensure that their current employees are legally eligible to work in the US.
Once the employers have verified the legality of the current workforce, E-Verify (which is Georgia law) will ensure newly hired employees are legal workers. We don’t regard ensuring a lawful workforce on county projects to be an unfair imposition on any business that wants to be paid by Cobb County.
The county can afford neither the time nor embarrassment suffered when the media discovered that illegal aliens working in 2009 were back on the same county job in 2010. Most of that problem was caused by contractors who evaded the E-Verify system by hiring illegal aliens and calling them “consultants” hired as “independent contractors.”
We see no difference between using public money to pay a county employee who is not legal to work and paying a contractor who will in turn pay illegal workers. Our ordinance would virtually ensure that the Courthouse construction debacle and evasion of verifying legal workers on county jobs are things of the past.
Georgia has more illegal aliens than Arizona. Both Georgia’s and Cobb’s unemployment problem aren’t going away soon and every person here illegally is a job, benefit or service taken from someone who obeyed the law.
Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren and Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds are on the front lines of the illegal immigration problems in Cobb. Both support the use of IMAGE in the County.
Cobb has been, and we seek that Cobb continue to be, a trailblazer in ensuring that illegal aliens do not benefit from taxpayer monies. The ordinance that we propose is not only a responsible and common-sense approach to leadership but also part of our duty as upholders of the U.S. Constitution, the Georgia Constitution and good stewards of the public budget.
District 3 Commissioner
District 2 Commissioner
Cobb County Board of Commissioners