Local tea party board to decide if they will support Cobb's immigration proposal
by Jon Gillooly
February 07, 2013 12:25 AM | 3677 views | 22 22 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Georgia Tea Party Chairman J.D. Van Brink, left, and Steve Covert of the Tea Party meet Tuesday at the Marietta Diner in Marietta.<br>Staff/Leo Hohmann
Georgia Tea Party Chairman J.D. Van Brink, left, and Steve Covert of the Tea Party meet Tuesday at the Marietta Diner in Marietta.
Staff/Leo Hohmann
slideshow
The meeting was also attended by immigration activist D.A. King.<br>Staff/Leo Hohmann
The meeting was also attended by immigration activist D.A. King.
Staff/Leo Hohmann
slideshow
Georgia Tea Party Chairman J.D. Van Brink said his nine-member board will decide Monday whether to endorse a proposal that requires contractors doing business with Cobb County to apply for federal IMAGE certification.

The ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers is a federal program that identifies illegal immigrants on the payroll.

Van Brink met with county chairman Tim Lee to learn about the proposal last month, and Lee expressed his reservations about it. On Tuesday, Van Brink met with immigration activist D.A. King at the Marietta Diner to learn about the other side.

At the end of the lunch, Van Brink said, “I can tell you that I’ve already pretty much made up my mind unless Tim can convince me otherwise, if there is a better way.”

In other words, Van Brink said he was a fan of requiring contractors to apply for IMAGE certification.

Van Brink said he is not a fan of Commissioner Helen Goreham’s counterproposal. Instead of requiring contractors to apply for certification as proposed by Commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell, Goreham said a points system should be designed that would reward contractors who apply for certification when they bid on county projects.

“It doesn’t sound to me like it is solving the problem,” Van Brink said.

Goreham has described her idea as using a carrot instead of a stick, a description King dismissed as an old political trick.

“So think about driving to St. Simons, going the speed limit, and getting paid for it,” King said. “If anybody truly believes that Helen Goreham dreamed this up by herself, I have a bridge for sale, and if anybody truly believes there is any contractor who will even be certified, much less apply for it, under Helen Goreham’s points system, I have two bridges for them.”

Not only does King disagree with Goreham’s proposal, he wants her out of office. She said he would assist a primary candidate to unseat Goreham from the Board of Commissioners in the 2014 election.

During their Tuesday lunch, Van Brink quizzed King about the IMAGE program, asking about its benefits. King said the certification process demonstrates the employer must implement a plan for excellence in hiring. It means the employer has either corrected or not made any mistakes in previous hires on I-9 forms. And it means there is no one working for the employer who has used fake or stolen identification such as Social Security numbers or drivers’ licenses on the I-9 form to obtain and keep their job, he said.

“In short, IMAGE protects budget dollars in Cobb County and jobs and ID theft. ID theft and illegal immigration go hand in hand,” he said.

King said in 2011 Gov. Nathan Deal said illegal immigration cost Georgians $2.4 billion a year, while the Pew Hispanic Center reports that at least 7 percent of Georgia’s workforce is black market labor.

But he said powerful lobbies are working to stop IMAGE in its tracks.

“This is not just about Cobb County now,” King said. “I will tell you because I know the (Association County Commissioners of Georgia) and (Georgia Municipal Association) agenda so well that they are going crazy over this.”

The immediate impact of passing IMAGE would create 10,000 jobs for American citizens, King predicted.

“Because people who know that they have all this illegal labor will fix their system and get in there and get rid of the illegal labor that’s so obvious,” he said. “I’m guessing you’re fighting not just the Cobb Chamber, ACCG, GMA, but also the state Chamber, and I’d be very surprised if there wasn’t the Associated General Contractors lobby involved in this as well.”

King said two years ago when a similar proposal was floated in the General Assembly, a lobbyist for the Associated General Contractors told him his group would drive a stake through its heart, which is exactly what happened.

“This, in a nutshell, is a microcosm of the illegal immigration crisis we have in the United States of America,” King said. “I bring up a proven, existing, completely legal program that will root out identity theft and illegal labor in a period of high unemployment, and instead of being welcomed with open arms, when it starts to affect the business community, people like me have to fight tooth and nail, get called names and answer questions about why we shouldn’t do this. This is it. This is the whole problem in a nutshell.”

Amy Selby, spokeswoman for the Cobb Chamber, said her organization has not taken an official position on the IMAGE proposal.

“It’s not something our members have asked us to look into,” Selby said. “If they do, that’s when we’ll move toward taking an official position.”
Comments
(22)
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Doubting word
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February 08, 2013
Asking Kings opinion on immigrants is about like asking for Hitler's opinion on Jews. He is a well known bigot. Hopefully people are waking up to the tea party nonsense that is destroying the GOP. The sooner we the back of these people the better.
anonymous
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February 11, 2013
I'll stand up here for D.A. He is hardly a bigot. Since when does enforcing laws already on the books make one a bigot? Those laws were passed by politicians elected by AlL the people, including liberal democrats and idiots who can't even name the vice president. This is the system, the laws are on the books. Now enforcing them should not be a matter of discussion.

Where were you when the laws were passed? Mexico?
@Russ Wood
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February 08, 2013
Wood - you again? Our taxes are would go up if we stop hiring illegal aliens and helping them stay here to run up the costs thay cause? Are you sane?

D.A. King is a hero. You can always tell the lamebrains when they scram "bigot" at anyone who wants to enforce imigration laws. Tim Lee is a phony who works for the Chamber and is paid by the taxpeyer. Helen Goreham is barely able to get to work she is so dumb. King's law would atch illegals that are taking our jobs and using stolen ID. What have we come to when that is regarded as a bad idea? One good thing, Helen Goreham will be history in 2014.
D.G. in Clarkdale
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February 07, 2013
If any contractor receives "TAXPAYER FUNDS" they should ALL be required to comply, END of discussion.

Stop supporting those who CHOOSE to break our laws being here illegally with our taxes.
JR in Mableton
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February 07, 2013
Maybe we should learn Spanish as a 2nd language and do our best to assist our visitors in becoming productive members of society and stop treating them like outcasts.

Maybe if Americans were not the world's largest consumers of cocaine, the only "illegal" immigrants would be seeking a better life for themselves instead of smuggling drugs to satisfy our demand for narcotics.

You might want to study your history too. We won World War II thanks to some Hungarian Jewish immigrants who were fleeing Hitler (names that the average Cobb County Tea Party "patriot" does not know). Those were jobs that Americans were not capable of doing at the time.
Crazy King
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February 07, 2013
Did anyone notice that the group met at the Marietta Diner which is owned by an Immigrant. Have you ever looked at who works there - all Immigrants - and it is great food and a great atmosphere. The Old Southern Boys need to realize the demographics of the USA are changing and soon they will be in the minority. It is time to stop attaching people and start working together. Here is an idea - let's find out where King's ancestors came from and then send him back! He is a racist Southerner and so are the Tea Party and Republicans. And for the record, I am a southern white male who gets it when it comes to immigration!
irked
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February 07, 2013
This isn't about immigrants, it's about illegal aliens.
Sly Rich
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February 07, 2013
We know thats you, Pelligrino.

Hows the coyote business these days?
A Taxpayer
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February 07, 2013
Crazy: you're not distinguishing between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. The problem is not immigration. The problem is illegal immigration. Criminals should not be supported, and people (like Gorham) who refuse to recognize and stop criminal activity should also not be supported. Can your narrow mind grasp that simple concept?
frogbreath
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February 07, 2013
You sir, are a traitorous fool without a drop of American in you.
anonymous
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February 11, 2013
Pellegrino, lots of us out here married to immigrants and "minorities" are FOR enforcement of immigration laws. Lots of us served our country in the military and brought brides home, but only after going through LEGAL channels. I know combat vets who've waited years for their families to be able to immigrate over, while the State Dept. flies in 12,000 Somalis each year and resettles them with benefits my family will never see. The whole system is failing, and the first place to start is closing the borders and making sure American citizens are employed FIRST.
American History
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February 07, 2013
Did anyone take American History? HA HA HA.... :-) aren't we all illegal immigrants? Everyone searching for a better life came here to find that... Well, except for one group of people that came here against their will. Simply put, people are tired of being everybody's doormat... I hope the poor "small" people keep fighting and keep voting. Do everything it takes to let people know they are wrong.
anonymous
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February 11, 2013
My God, I hope you are not a teacher. NO, we were not all "illegal immigrants."

The "small" people, to which you refer, are not allowed to vote. They are not citizens. And if the "small" people continue to vote and work illegally, taking taking taking our hard-earned tax dollars in the form of WIC, free medical, SNAP, etc, they are stealing from Americans.
King a bogot
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February 07, 2013
I suggest Mr. King come over to my house to do some ditch digging and clean my toilets. Of course he will have to find time between the biggoted rants and running around looking for minorities to blame for his sorry life.
mk-elected traitors
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February 07, 2013
Come on people,.. 12 years after 911-our borders are still porous and illegal communities have spread throughout ALL American cities.

In fact, what's clearly coming down the pike is amnesty for all that have made it here illegally, stolen social security numbers, taken Americans jobs & have secured their American dream by producing as many anchor babies as humanly possible.

The push for comprehensive immigration is in full swing. Rubio will be delivering his immigration speech today in english & spanish.

There is NO ONE protecting Americans!!

Homeland Securities definition of terrorists has now changed from radical islamists,.. to include veterans, soldiers, tea partiers and patriotic Americans that respect the rule of law.

America IS being fundamentally changed, right before our very eyes.

I thank DA King for all his good intentions and tireless years of work,... but he surely must see, the whole system is full of traitors.

Commissioners, mayors, representatives, senators, etc., etc., they sold us out. They know who the cheap labor works for. They know where the illegals live. They know what schools they attend & what hospital cater to them.

Money going into the elites coffers.

Power, greed & money.

America has dug her own grave!

Russ Wood
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February 07, 2013
9/11 has nothing to do with it. Those terrorists all came here legally. A fence on the border, a voter ID law, and the IMAGE would have done nothing to stop 9/11.

Devlin Adams
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February 07, 2013
I don''t understand why this is an issue for anyone, much less the Tea Party.

It is about whether or not we pay our tax money to employ illegal aliens, or demand that the job go to a legal worker, preferably a Cobb County resident.

Tim Lee and Helen Goreham can try to obfuscate the facts all they want to. It remains the same question. Do we care about our residents more than we care about illegal aliens, law breaking contractor and the Chamber of Commerce flunkies who are pushing to get this ordinance defeated?
Russ Wood
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February 07, 2013
I'll explain why this is an issue. History is full of examples where the effort to solve one problem leads to even more problems.

IMAGE is an effort to solve the problem of illegal employment. It will lead to bigger government, more regulations, higher taxes, and yet it will not solve the problem.
Just Wait
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February 07, 2013
Really, does anyone care what the Tea Party thinks anymore? They are the problem with the Republican party, not the solution.
Pat H
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February 07, 2013
Ms. Goreham needs to be out of office, as well as Tim Lee and Lisa Cupid.

They are refusing to implement the mandate by our State government demanding that public dollars be reserved for those contractors hiring legal workers.
Boot 'em out
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February 07, 2013
Cobb citizens had a chance to Boot Tim Lee out, but they chose to keep him. They also chose to elect Lisa Cupid. So you're stuck with these two for four more years. Stop whining. Helen has way much more knowlege and experience than that idiot Birrell.
anonymous
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February 07, 2013
Amy Selby has been put into the unfortunate position of having to lie. The truth is, chamber leadership has taken a position and it's obvious to everyone paying attention. Chamber members, you should address this sometime with your leadership.

I suggest D.A. King run for the U.S. Senate. If any in congress exhibited even a third of King's expertise, courage, persistence, dedication to a cause, our world would be a much better place. King is a one trick pony, right now, but has already shown his capabilities far more than most of our local elected officials, and maintained it all completely without any salary, subsidies or support from anyone.
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