Putting Americans back to work should be no-brainer for Cobb Commission — but isn’t
by D.A. King
July 20, 2012 12:40 AM | 2711 views | 11 11 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Many businesses that operate as contractors on Cobb taxpayer-funded projects — like road-building and court house and government school construction — employ a large number of illegal aliens. While Americans stand in unemployment lines. While honest, legal, willing workers looking for a better life worry about losing their homes because they can’t get enough work.

By now, many people know that here in Cobb County, the Board of Commissioners has taken commendable and decisive action to use the ultimate federal tool available to insure that the Human Resources Department under their control is not employing workers who are not eligible to work in the United States.

On its way to becoming certified by the feds as “IMAGE certified” the BOC has signed an agreement with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to have its employment records audited to insure adherence to the law and have identity documents presented by employees at hiring validated.

The original idea for BOC IMAGE certification was offered by Commissioner Bob Ott as one of his goals for 2011. In February of last year, this newspaper reported on that fact and offered some quotes from Mr. Ott: “When you look at what Arizona and Georgia are trying to do, they’re up against the federal government fighting them. IMAGE is a federal government program, so there wouldn’t be any fighting because it’s already in place and it’s their program,” Ott said. “It’s good for Cobb because the people working in Cobb will be legal to work.”


Ott stressed that the initiative isn’t targeted at jailing illegals, but rather making sure Cobb jobs go to legal Cobb residents who need them. “It’s just about getting people back to work,” Ott said.

Mr. Ott “gets it.”

The goal of the 2006 IMAGE program is to curtail the employment of unauthorized workers through outreach, education and partnership. IMAGE certification requires use of the no-cost E-Verify program.

It was also Commissioner Ott who asked the BOC legal department to begin work on drafting language for an ordinance last month that would require all contractors who want to work on county projects or provide services to become IMAGE certified as well. Commissioner JoAnn Birrell showed her support for the quite logical intent by offering to be the “second” on putting the ordinance up for a vote. Mrs. Birrell, this writer’s district commissioner, supports the concept of IMAGE-certified contractors in Cobb.

It only takes three votes on the five-member board to pass an ordinance and it should be noted that the original vote to become IMAGE certified was bi-partisan and unanimous. There is little doubt that a vote on IMAGE-certified contractors would easily pass and zero doubt that Cobb voters with the common sense of a turnip would view the move as logical, ground-breaking, positive and courageous.

There is no other government agency in Georgia that is IMAGE-certified or uses IMAGE to protect taxpayers from unscrupulous contractors who use black-market labor. And that includes the Cobb County school board.

Why, readers may be asking doesn’t the BOC draw up and pass an ordinance next week saying that only IMAGE-certified contractors may offer a bid on county jobs after Jan. 1, 2014? Who would possibly object to exposing employees who used bogus or stolen ID documents when they were hired and purging these illegal workers from the payrolls of taxpayer funded contractors?

A hint: It was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that filed lawsuits to stop the requirement that many federal contractors use the E-Verify database. (It was the U.S. Chamber that challenged Arizona’s 2007 E-Verify law, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — and lost.) It was the Georgia Chamber of Commerce — along with the ACLU — that put up the strongest opposition to the 2011 Georgia law (HB 87) that expanded the 2006 state requirement that public employers and their contractors use E-Verify to also include most private employers.

For an amusing cacophony of excuses and nonsense talking points against the BOC using only IMAGE-certified contractors, give the all-too-powerful Cobb Chamber of Commerce a call.

There is no added expense to becoming IMAGE-certified. State legislation is routinely written, vetted and passed into law in a three-month window. There is no regulation that the Cobb BOC must wait until next year to pass an ordinance. There is no legal reason that the BOC cannot require of contractors what it has already done itself.

There is no reason to wait until next year to take the ultimate step in putting Americans back to work in Cobb County, Ga. Let’s do it now. It’s a no brainer.

D.A. King is president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society and a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration. He has assisted Georgia legislators with illegal immigration legislation since 2006.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Marie in Marietta
July 25, 2012
And WHY isn't Marietta usoing IMAGE? HELLO THUNDER! Are my tax dollars going to pay illegal aliens ? Are there tools being ignored?
Aunt Gawdy
July 22, 2012

"There is no other government agency in Georgia that is IMAGE-certified or uses IMAGE to protect taxpayers from unscrupulous contractors who use black-market labor. And that includes the Cobb County school board."

WHY isn't the school board using IMAGE!?

July 21, 2012
great report. Thank you MDJ news!
gordo meis
July 21, 2012
make King Chairman. That would be a step foward minus the BS
July 20, 2012
Mr. Kings clear and logical advice always amazes me. Again, he's right on. But tell this to your local bought off polticians.
Marie in Marietta
July 20, 2012
Tim - the bell tolls for thee
Robert Johnson
July 20, 2012
Hooray for Bob Ott & Jo Anne Birrell! I am sure that if the other voted to do IMAGE for the county, they would be YES votes to make contractors use IMAGE - IF they were allowed to vote on an ordinace.

Great column from Mr. King.
July 20, 2012

Thanks for your patriotic efforts. It seems that today's politicians are more dedicated to assist their employer constituents in hiring illegals at the expense of American jobs than they are in being Americans.

I read of one executive class where the upper level management attendees weer instructed to think of themselves as members of a global business environment and not as Americans.

Where has pride and love of country gone? Why does the profit margin hold greater interest than America's well being??
SW Gal
July 20, 2012
Thank you, Mr. King, for standing up for Georgians and those of us in Cobb. Also, a big thank you to Commissioner Ott for supporting the IMAGE program. Shame on you, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Tim Lee. Should we take the "U.S." out of the name and call you the Mexican Chamber? You are correct, Mr. King. It is a "no-brainer" to use the IMAGE program. It is time for voters to make their voices heard this month. People who are not loyal to Georgians need to be voted out.
Pat H
July 20, 2012
The taxpayer supported projects have used illegal alien labor for far too long by using subcontractors and sub-subcontractors to skirt the law.

The Board of Commissioners are catering to these powerful contractors in order to obtain campaign financing and other benefits by refusing to use lawful tools placed into law by our State legislators.

Elections have consequences. Lets demand all candidates running for chairman state clearly what they will do immediately to start IMAGE, and if not immediately, then when.

We need to send a very strong message in July to Goreham and Birrell that their days are numbered unless they vote to start this program now. Tim Lee is too far involved in the Chamber and needs to go home to be with his friends.
Reader 2
July 20, 2012

DA just told you that Jo Anne Birrell supports the IMAGE program and will second the motion to have a vote! Are you unable to understand that?
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