Which side will Cobb board pick on IMAGE? Yours? Or illegals?
by D.A. King
columnist
January 17, 2013 12:00 AM | 2553 views | 29 29 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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“My commitment to the community has always been to lead and manage Cobb County Government in the most conservative manner possible,” Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee in his Monday State of the County address.

Imagine a campaign in favor of the use of stolen Social Security numbers and fraudulent ID documents.

Crazy, impossible and “never happen” you say? Hardly. The shameless illegal alien lobby does it quite often. They frame it as a “civil-rights” issue and say they are defending “immigrants.” They hope you won’t know that immigrants who are in the USA lawfully have genuine Social Security numbers, real American IDs and no need for stolen or fake SSNs.

Imagine any elected official in Georgia ignoring the plight of jobless citizens.

Now, imagine being an allegedly conservative chief executive of an Atlanta-area county and not rushing to take advantage of an available no-cost tool called “IMAGE certification” that would expose the use of stolen Social Security numbers by workers paid with tax funds.

This is not impossible either. And you don’t need to just imagine. Despite what he has said about leading and managing, it is exactly what is happening right now here in Cobb County, Ga., with county boss Tim Lee. And perhaps with one or more of our district commissioners.

Maybe they have forgotten the multiple 2010 news reports of repeated revelations of illegal workers taking coveted taxpayer-funded construction jobs building the Cobb Court House. Or the fact that it happened so many times and became so embarrassing that the sheriff had to be called in with armed guards to check workers’ IDs at the entry to the Court House construction site.

Amazingly, the obvious and nearly fool-proof solution to such future scandals might not be used here in Cobb County. A change in county code to require contractors to simply apply to use the no-cost federal “IMAGE certification” tool to detect fake IDs and illegal workers on county jobs is not a sure thing.

And Tim Lee has flip-flopped on his promise to extend the IMAGE program from the BOC itself to county contractors.

Yes, last May the BOC cast a unanimous, bipartisan vote to sign an agreement with ICE to become IMAGE-compliant — which, again, mostly means they have allowed the feds to check the BOC’s hiring records for compliance with federal law and to sniff out bogus and stolen IDs used by workers at hiring — including stolen Social Security numbers.

At the May 2012 signing ceremony, Lee said “The IMAGE agreement will help prevent possible terrorist attacks and protect employees against discrimination based upon citizenship or natural origin.” And he was right.

“The message, if there is one, is that Cobb County takes its responsibility very seriously to make sure that everything possibly that could be done is being done to make sure the laws are being followed in our county, and to make sure there’s an opportunity for equal employment for those that deserve it,” Lee told this newspaper after that meeting.

By participating in the IMAGE program, companies can reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.

As part of IMAGE, ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will provide education and training on proper hiring procedures, and fraudulent document detection.

The ugly truth is that Tim Lee’s enthusiasm for rooting out black-market labor from the county-paid contractor workforce has waned. In a departure from his campaign promise, Lee now says that he is undecided on whether he will support the IMAGE requirement for contractors. How? He is using the endless and ever-dependable political goop “until examining any unintended consequences such as the cost of implementation to manage it and making us uncompetitive for new business.”

Imagine telling that to the Cobb’s unemployed and working poor who would love to look for a better life by having a public job now held by an illegal worker using a stolen Social Security number.

Passing the IMAGE ordinance sponsored by Commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell shouldn’t be a difficult decision. The coming vote on this county policy will be long remembered.

The entire Cobb County Board of Commissioners has a clear choice here. Not all choices in life offer this clarity. Align with law-abiding voters — or with the counterfeit identification enthusiasts and the big money Chamber of Commerce.

It will be very educational to watch them pick a side.

There will be a hearing on the proposed policy at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Cobb Government Building on Marietta Square.

Pick a side.

D.A. King is president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society and a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration. Contact him at The Dustin Inman Society on Facebook.
Comments
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Helen G Watch
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January 26, 2013
Helen Goreham wil see a GOP primary challenger. If she votes NO on IMAGE after she voted YES on IMAGE last year it will be because the Chamber of Commerce got to her. It will also mean that she will be soundly beaten in her reeelection bid.
Marie in Marietta
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January 23, 2013
Without D.A. King, we would not know about the graft going on inside Tim Lee's little "operation." THANK YOU D.A.!
Gordo Meis
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January 22, 2013
Rich means those jobs "no one else will do" like building the Cobb County Courthouse for low, cash wages while honest Americans stay unemployed.

Myth: Rich can actually think.
Rich Pellegrino
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January 22, 2013
As I've said Gordo, honest Americans who want to work, especially those in Cobb, can get work if they really wanted to work. I have yet had one contact me for a job who felt he was displaced by an undocumented worker. But the offer remains open at pilgrim1@mindspring.com .
Marie in Marietta
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January 22, 2013
Finally! Perfect! Here on our street, where we are following this adventure in graft by Tim Lee and likely Helen Goreham, we thought crazy Rich Pellegrino would never show up!

So now, Tim Lee and Helen have another ally besides the Chamber of Commerce and the other illegal aliens employers. They have Comrade Rich Pellegrino on their side.

Tim & Helen -Way to go folks! The nut who calls the police and the sheriff racists and bigots for enforceing our laws and who has joined terrorist Wm Ayers onstage and who partners up with the hate group Nation of Islam is supporting you in your effort to fight use the IMAGE system to save jobs! The IMAGE system of saving jobs that you already voted FOR. Before the Chamber told you they don't want to find the workers with false ID.

Cobb County is sinking to Dekalb depths. Helen: My friends in your area are talking RECALL.
Rich Pellegrino
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January 19, 2013
"Few issues offer such clarity". I agree, but not regarding this ridiculous Image issue, which is a monumental waste of time, as some writers have commented already, and is really just as it's name states, an "Image" to give the appearance to those haters in our society that something is being done to appease their wrath. Meantime,the rest of the country and in Washington, supported by the majority of the American public, on both sides of the aisle, including conservatives and evangelicals, are working to enact a Comprehensive Immigration Reform which will include a path to legalization of our undocumented neighbors here in Cobb and elsewhere, who have earned that right by their hard work helping to build this country, often in jobs which no one else would do--just like our immigrant ancestors, most of whom came here "illegally" or were considered so by the dominant class of that time. So let's join this century, and the rest of the country, in preparing to welcome our immigrant neighbors as equals--which is what America is all about. That is clarity.

Also, let me help bring more clarity by dispelling some common myths, including those in this article (and all of my information comes from independent studies and audits, which I will be happy to provide upon request):

Myth: They are taking our jobs.

All studies conclude that their combined economic input into the economy actually creates a net increase in jobs because of buying power, taxes paid, and business creation.

Myth: They don't pay taxes.

All state and federal studies conclude they pay millions more in taxes (income, sales, property, etc) than the services they receive.

So, not only do they enrich our culture, but also our coffers. "Few issues offer such clarity."

Gordo Meis
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January 18, 2013
Hey., lookingfortruth: How about trying a loittle harder? How about trying to actually think? IMAGE will show phony documents used to get hired. Illegal aliens and the bums who hire them get away with all of this by use of false documents. GET IT!?
@lookingfortruth
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January 18, 2013
Even I can understand this. It is NOT E-VERIFY! The employer must use E-VERIFY to be IMAGE CERTIFIED, but the emplyer must also let the feds check his old hiring records to look for false documents that may have been used by illegal aliens.

E-Verify ONLY works for new employees. An illegal who used YOUR SSN five years ago to get a job with CW Mathews to taka a job away from an American will NEVER be discovered unless we help DA get this IMAGE rule passed.

The county has noithing to do with the audits that ICE would do on the books of the contractors who want to work for the county. The law would be that only companies that aply to let the fefs look at the books can even bid.

No offense, but it seems awfully lazy to get it so wrong. The fact that Chamber baby $$$Tim Lee$$$ is against it should be enough even if you won't take the time to look for truth
Marie in Marietta
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January 18, 2013
We put this Image program through Google. It is pretty easy to understand if people would just do a little investigating themselves.

My bridge club friend lives in Helen Goreham's district and tells me that Helen is by no means a sure yes vote on this. Apparently, the Chamber of Commerce and Tim Lee have bullied her into backing up on her promise to vote yes that I read about in the paper.

What a world. I can't believe that we have reached the point that saving our tax dollars for American workers and findiong stolen social security numbers has turned into an argument.

What have we come to?

looking 4 truth
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January 18, 2013


I'm a fan of the American workers that have been screwed over by dishonest politicians & greedy contractors!!

If this has loopholes & the contractors know them, how does it make much difference?

I just don't see how this is any different than the E-Verify (which was supposed to keep illegals from working county contracts)or SB529 (that was supposed to run illegals out of Georgia).

The illegals are here.

There are 100's of neighborhoods in this county turns the politicians turn a blind eye to.

They are rneting, buying, working, using hospitals & schools , working in the private sector AND working on county jobs.

The wealthy will continue to use cheap labor. The contractors will continue to pick up day laborers.

I have never heard of one single ICE raid on any DOT projects in the Atlanta area.

So , really, what is this about?

If you show me how it would actually work, I'd support it. At this point, I don't believe the county has to worry much about any funding for ICE audits.

Fan of Dustin Inman
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January 18, 2013
There is plenty of info on this IMAGE thing on D.A. King's MDJ blog and you can Google IMAGE - immigration. ICE checks the hiring records.

The Cobb ordinace would only apply to Cobb County, NOT the cities. Or the school board. I hear that Mayor Tumlin has already said no and ignored doing it for Marietta. He won't even do what Lee has already done by asking ICE to check the Marietta books, much less making the contractors do it. The other Mayors have stayed silent, hoping it will go away before anybody gets it. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Yes, the contractors are terrified because they know an ICE check of their books would turn up a tidal wave of illegal aliens who used fake SSNs.

$$$$$$$$$$$$

D.A. King is speaking truth to power here. GO DA!

I am going to the Tuesday meeting to see the commissioners.And Tim Lee.
need answers
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January 18, 2013
DA, could you please give answers to the 2 questions? It would be very helpful to have clarity.

1-audits

2-cities

thank-you
2nd question, please
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January 18, 2013
Does this include ALL of Cobb Counties cities?

The big players are busy working on multi-million dollar road/sidewalk/school/firestation projects in Smyrna. I imagine they're in the other cities as well.
Ali9999
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January 18, 2013
As the saying goes, follow the money. You can bet that some of his more affluent donors/contituents who benefit from hiring illegal aliens are behind this. That's the case nationally. Why would local politicas be any different?
One Question Please
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January 17, 2013
I am not sure if I understand how the auditing will work.

I could get behind this, only if there was funding for on site audits. And at least 2 audits per company, per year. More, if complaints filed.

To ensure compliance, an on site visit would require fingerprinting every person on the job site.

Each person found to have not been run through the IMAGE would cost the company a $100,000 fine. PERIOD.

1st violation, no more county contracts!

10 illegals, a million bucks.

The ONLY way this business of hiring illegals will stop, is meaningful deductions from their profits!
Pat H
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January 18, 2013
I would volunteer to work for free to do the audits, on site.

For those of us who have been hit by an illegal who then tried to run, we need to rid those here for their own gain and forget to be a good citizen.
GeezLouise2
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January 18, 2013
Geez. Somebody pls pay attention? THE IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) AGENTS DO THE AUDIT!
wink-wink
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January 17, 2013
Hey, back at ya'-

Speaking the truth IS doing something!

Trying to quiet down people that might not fall in line, does not benefit the American workers that are out of work.

Tell me,... who exactly is going to go to these job sites to ensure every laborer has been run through this magical IMAGE?

Just like SB529,... bunch of smoke & mirrors!

Chip Rogers knew it,.. and when I laid it out before him & showed him there was no funding for audits,... he denied it & ran me out of his office.

These politicians are not going to do anything that really cuts off the hand that feeds them!!
Ali9999
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January 18, 2013
Who's going to do those jobs? Maybe the people who have been displaced by illegal aliens? The ones now collecting unemployment or welfare? Do it often enough, or better yet, on a random basis, and employers will never know when they'll be checked or who will be.
Jackie B, Austell
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January 17, 2013
I rememebr the illegal alienbs taking jobs at the courthouse job. I couldn't get hired after the formeen saw that i was black and not Hispanic. They weren't too subtle about it either.

I dare these commissioners to not pass this rule!
Rich Pellegrino
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January 19, 2013
Jackie B and anyone else on here who blames undocumented immigrants for their woes....it appears we have all forgotten where we came from and that nearly all of us, whether European immigrants, African freedmen or slaves, Asians, Native Americans--you name it--have been called "illegal" or "sub-human" or worse by the D.A. Kings of their time. It is just hate-mongering that is financed by the same white supremacists who in my lifetime boldly proclaimed blacks to be sub-human. (Don't be fooled and follow the money who backs this bigot.) Now, I have said this for years, on tv, radio, and in this forum: I will help anyone get a job who can prove or even believes he or she has been displaced by an undocumented immigrant. (The only condition is that if I do this for you, you must stop hating on these immigrant neighbors of ours.) I have never had a taker which proves to me that the complainers here and everywhere are not serious and are just seeking an excuse to blame others for their own doing or undoing. Prove me wrong at pilgrim1@mindspring.com (I am a business consultant with many contacts and have helped hundreds, if not thousands, of friends, family and colleagues get jobs.)
frogbreath
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January 17, 2013
PS Thank heavens for D A King. Without his due diligence , we would have an all illegal work force on county , city projects.

PPS On a personal experience note , I suggest that if you see a CW Matthews work crew, you can go and take Spanish lessons from them.(Or for the matter , almost any roofer in Cobb.)
wink-wink
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January 17, 2013
No matter what they do publicly next week, it's still just lip service, nothing more.

It's just all too easy to ignore the real issue that's conveniently confined west of the neighborhoods where people reside that have any prestige or power.

Cobb County has carved out a nice large area to house their cheap labor. Shoot, the East Cobbers still need their lawns cut, leaves blown & houses painted. The natural place for them is the poverty stricken South Cobb Drive corridor, from Smyrna to Marietta out west to Austell, Powder Springs , into Douglasville.

Every working illegal has a chain of friends and cousins that they house & help find employment.

Even the anchor babies will be in the labor pool before we can say 'unemployment rate'.

Even if the county government actually audited the contractors on paper, the road crews will still continue to hire 'off the books'.

The big companies, CW Matthews, Croy, Baldwin, Arcadis,etc., have become too spoiled paying 7 to 10 dollar hour cash labor.

The deal w/ the corrupt mayors is,.. allow the quiet, hard working illegals to live in these poor neighborhoods and we'll stay out of your cities business.

And no matter what these county folks do next week,.. it will not help the 1,000's of Americans in Cobb County that have lost work to the preferred 'new' labor in the private sector!

Tired of you
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January 17, 2013
hey, "wink wink" Sit down and shut up.

It is so easy to sit back and do NOTHING but complian and be negative. You don't know what you are talking about and should at least shut up whjile others try to fix the problem you are complaining about.
frogbreath
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January 17, 2013
@wink

You speak truth. There are many folks in Cobb who cannot find work.There are young folks who made mistakes with the law and cannot find work anywhere.

I will wager that illegal applicants are not asked to take a urine test. You see, it's OK if you use drugs if you will work for min wage.

It's also OK fro employers to have employees who use the Emergency Rooms of our hospitals as theer source of health care. We, the public, are paying for their employees benefits.

That is dishonest and definitely violating many laws, state and federal. No elected official should keep her/his seat if they approve contracts without IMAGE vetting.
Rabbit Davis
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January 17, 2013
Great column! I am imagining Tim Lee squirming in a room with the contractors bosses trying to think of another excuse. I hear they will vote on Feb 26.
Robert Johnson
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January 17, 2013
I live in S. Cobb and am watching closely to see how much effect the illegals have on our new commissioner. Lisa. Your first test on how to protect our jobs and the voting community here.

King is right: Few issues offer such clarity.
Rich Pellegrino
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January 19, 2013
I live in S. Cobb too and I, unlike many of you writing here, took the time to get to know many of my immigrant neighbors. And guess what, I found out they were decent, hardworking, law-abiding, family-oriented, tax-paying, church-going people--not unlike my Italian immigrant ancestors, who were labeled WOPS, meaning without papers, by the DA Kings of their time, and are not unlike most other immigrant populations in our country's history, who were also called "illegal" or worse, by the DA Kings of their day. The fact is, no human being is "illegal", or "illegitimate", or a WOP, or a N....., or any of the other harsh labels the DA Kings of their day called them. So, just as if I was fighting for my own family, or my own immigrant ancestors, or to free the slaves, or to overturn Jim Crow, I will use any non-violent means necessary, in the steps of the genuine King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, to protect my immigrant neighbors, regardless of how they got here. That King was right: Few issues offer such clarity.
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