Goreham and Cupid voice concerns on immigration code proposal
by Jon Gillooly
February 13, 2013 01:02 AM | 2866 views | 20 20 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Commissioners Lisa Cupid and Helen Goreham shared their concerns Tuesday about a proposed code change that would require county contractors to apply for a federal program that audits a company’s hiring records to look for illegal immigrants.

“It seems like an intrusive process,” Cupid said after the second of three public hearings on a proposal sponsored by Commissioners JoAnn Birrell and Bob Ott.

Cupid said she did read that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may audit a company whether they’ve applied with the federal IMAGE program or not.

“But the threat of one versus the mandate of one are two different things,” she said.

Cupid said she’s amused when critics claim she’s being pressured to vote a certain way.

“I almost wanted to laugh this morning. I’m not pressured,” Cupid said. “I don’t feel cornered at all. At the end of the day, I want to do what’s fair for the county, and at the end of the day I want to make sure that there isn’t adverse impact in how Cobb County conducts their business, and right now I just haven’t heard other than the 10 people (discovered a few years ago to be working on the county courthouse who were illegal immigrants), I haven’t heard what’s the compelling reason. I need something really compelling as to why this needs to occur.”

Cupid also addressed an argument raised by critics that she should be particularly sensitive to the matter of illegal immigration as a black woman because, as the argument goes, illegal immigrants take jobs away from the black community.

“Cry me a river,” she said. “Do they really care? How many of them have protested when they didn’t put businesses in my district? How many protest when CCT is shut down and people can’t get to work? How many people protest when they get rid of affirmative action and programs that will get black people to work?”

At the same time, Cupid added that the argument is not completely without merit, pointing out she has worked in the construction industry.

“I’ve been on sites, I’ve actually worked with a contractor who would tell me why he hires one group over another,” she said. “So don’t get me wrong. There are some matters pertaining to race when it comes to labor-intensive jobs. But if you really want to tackle that subject, let’s really tackle that subject other than the IMAGE ordinance.

“The issue of unemployment in the black community spans far beyond immigration. It may be compounded by immigration, I do grant that, but the issues of unemployment in the black community are far greater, and if those who want to propose IMAGE want to work on those issues as diligently as they’re working on me to support IMAGE, I’m all open. I’m available to meet.”

Cupid said she is sensitive to the immigration topic because her own parents moved to the U.S. from Guyana, South America, while her husband’s parents moved here from Trinidad. She has cousins in Guyana who want to move to the U.S. but can’t because of a complicated immigration process. Immigration is a complicated topic, Cupid said, and is not something that can be solved in a county ordinance.

“You’re not going to do it, and I’m not going to be a pawn for that,” she said. “I’m not going to be a pawn for that when unemployment in the black community has been rampant in double digit numbers prior to the recession. I won’t be a pawn for that. And I’m not going to be a pawn for when we have very complex immigration issues, especially when you can’t show me a robust ordinance. Give me something that measures up.”

Goreham, meantime, said some of her concerns have been addressed. For instance, Goreham was worried about finding a non-certified IMAGE contractor in an emergency. An emergency loophole has since been included in the proposal.

“That makes me feel a lot better,” Goreham said.

But she said she’s still concerned that no other government in the region has signed up for the program.

“I believe that it will affect our ability to conduct business in the most cost-effective manner with the best qualified contractors,” she said.

Goreham said she also wanted to make it clear that an alternative she suggested to the Ott-Birrell proposal was just that – a suggestion. Goreham had suggested using an incentive system in the bid process to award companies a certain amount of points for applying for IMAGE certification.

“But people have put it as ‘Goreham’s incentive program’ here and have stuck to that and have asked me about my incentive program,” she complained. “Well it was a suggestion. I threw out the possibility of an incentive.”

She said she made her concerns public in an effort to open up discussion among the Board of Commissioners.

“That was the main reason to get more discussion on this topic, which it has. I was throwing out some suggestions, but everyone has cornered me and says ‘this is Goreham’s plan to addressing IMAGE.’”

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the IMAGE proposal on Feb. 26, Goreham said.

“So many things can transpire. So much more information can come up,” she said.

As for immigration activist D.A. King of the Dustin Inman Society recently issuing a press release announcing he would help oust Goreham from office in next year’s election over her IMAGE stance, Goreham said she was not surprised.

“He makes allegations, in my opinion, without any basis for those allegations,” Goreham said. “You know, his Dustin Inman piece, I’d like to see some background information on the allegations he made. You know he’s talking about special interests getting to me. Chamber money. The Chamber runs opposition against me every time I run. But no one questions his allegations.”

IMAGE stands for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement developed the initiative as a way for employers to achieve a “lawful workforce.”

Comments
(20)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
MDJ is correct
|
February 15, 2013
Cobb County IS a mecca for illegal immigrants.

And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where they live and who they work for.

It is a large piece of the Cobb County Corruption puzzle.

If you live in East Cobb, you love the illegals, because they are building your personal wealth, then they go home to the rundown neighborhoods throughout south Cobb.

Hey , what could possibly be the problem???

The problem is the subdivisions in the $800's & $900's in East Cobb & in the low $100's in south Cobb.

You can't tell me Max didn't make a deal with the devil! He was willing to sell out his citizenry, to retain power!
Samuel Adams
|
February 14, 2013
The Office of Management and Budget says tax payments from the government (taxpayer dollars) to illegal aliens claining the Child Tax Credit quadrupled in the last 5 years, from 0.9 billion dollars in 2005 to 7.4 billion dollars in 2012.

Does anyone in their right mind believe these kids of expenditures to illegal aliens make the government BETTER able to help fund programs for legal people, such as the ones in south Cobb represented by Ms. Cupid? Ms. Cupid, you are new, but spending on federal, state and county levels on illegals has TAKEN AWAY funding for the seniors in your area, families, schools. Your constituents are counting on you to do the best thing for THEM. If the county has to cut bus routes, ask yourself if they didn't have to spend so much on services to illegals if that money might have been available to your people in south Cobb, to development and improvements in south Cobb....can't you make that connection in your brain?
anonymous
|
February 13, 2013
If Ms. Cupid could stay on topic for a moment...that is, work on the problem of illegal immigrants competing with us for the small number of jobs out there in this depression.

Ms. Cupid, 2/3 of people who found any employment in the last four years were immigrants, both legal and illegal. That's according to the Brookings Institution. Quite frankly, many employers (the ones using illegal labor) would rather hire a docile immigrant, desperate for work, than any citizen of any color who'll complain when treated poorly. You might even describe this black market labor as a form of slavery, in all due respect.

So instead of having some kind of chip-on-your shoulder about your cousins not being able to immigrate here and transferring the blame to those in favor of IMAGE, how about focussing on the issue at hand: ridding our county of fatcat contractors who prefer hiring easily exploitable workers. Vote to pass IMAGE, and watch the crime rate in your district fall as more kids and young people in your district, black and white, are able to find gainful employment. Watch families regain their dignity and be able to move forward again. Those in the shadows, if Rich Pellegrino is right, will have their time whenever Obama signs that executive order. But until then, do the right thing and don't let the county sign contracts with exploiters of people.
Just Wait
|
February 13, 2013
It almost sounds as if Mrs. Cupid has a chip on her shoulder. I was hoping for better.
Julie Smart
|
February 13, 2013
Same crap different day.....Nothing is going to get done but giving the "illegals a pass" seems to be what is given priority. Whether it be black or brown, white does not seem to play into the equation anymore. They are still playing the equality card and the "white folk" are just left hanging.....in the minority line for sure!
Just Sayin'....
|
February 13, 2013
Thank you Ms. Cupid for an articulate and on the point response. This IMAGE issue is really just a smoke-screen and something that appeases a certain element for the time being. As much as it pains me, I even agree with Mr. Pellegrino's comments....all this effort and expense for something that will be over-ridden by the federal authorities in matter of months, if not weeks.

Let us focus on issues that the county government needs to be focused on. Economic development, an adequate tax base and structure, safe streets and neighborhoods, etc. I am not really sure when immigration law became the forte of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners anyway.
Gordo Meis
|
February 13, 2013
Cobb isn't enforcing immigration laws smart guy - but they would be helping to get illegals out of the tax paid jobs. Too tough for your liberal mind to grasp? The forte of the commi$$ioners except Ott and Birrell is to do what they are told!
um no..
|
February 13, 2013
you have that all wrong Gordo. Ott and Birrell have no idea what they are doing. I could sit here for days and list things Ott said he was for and then voted against or said he was against and voted for it.

Birrell should go back to waste mgmt and try and clean herself up while at it
Jusyt Sayin'....
|
February 14, 2013
Gordo - Exactly how many illegals are in those jobs you are discussing? Numbers please. Until you have numbers please stop thinking that just because someone is hispanic they must be illegal. That is simply not the case. As for my liberal mind, you might just be shocked to know I actually vote along a conservative line. I just think this has become a witch hunt because people are frustrated with the economy. We have other issues to be concerned about that would be much more worthy to look at right now.
Laura Armstrong
|
February 13, 2013
Ms. Cupid, black unemployment in April 2000 was 7.0. That would be pre-recession, right?

In June 2012, black unemployment was 14.4 percent.

Get your facts straight. Black unemployment has almost doubled since the recession began in 2007-2008. You are not a pawn, but as an elected official it would be nice to go on fact rather than guesses.
Armstrong..Umm Wrong
|
February 14, 2013
Blacks rarely have seen UE drop below 10% since the data has been tracked. Don't just look at one year. Look over time.
Just Sayin'....
|
February 14, 2013
Laura - Actually the number is much higher and Ms. Cupid is not off base. The state/fed. government stop counting certain individuals after a certain period of time. ALL the numbers are off...for whites, blacks,etc. It has been, and continues to be, a numbers game. The actual rate for unemployed in GA is something like 18%. BTW, you knew those numbers were off, didn't you?

I think her point was that certain people are using that as a talking point when, in fact, they have largely ignored the situation in the past.
forums4justice
|
February 13, 2013
total FY2012 apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector, 97,762, were a 65% increase over the total FY2011 apprehensions of 59,243. Continuing on, the apprehensions for the first 3 months of FY2013, in the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector, 23,814, are a 49% increase over the first 3 months of FY2012, of 16,001

total FY2012 apprehensions in the Laredo Border Patrol Sector, 44,872, were a 24% increase over the total FY2011 apprehensions of 36,053. Continuing on, the apprehensions for the first 3 months of FY2013, in the Laredo Border Patrol Sector, 10,207, are a 63% increase over the first 3 months of FY2012, of 6,257

total FY2012 apprehensions in the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector, 21,720, were a 35% increase over the total FY2011 apprehensions of 16,144. Continuing on, the apprehensions for the first 3 months of FY2013, in the Del Rio Border Patrol Sector, 4,645, are a 32% increase over the first 3 months of FY2012, of 3,524
Pat H
|
February 13, 2013
Ms. Goreham and Ms. Cupid, your arguments against instituting the IMAGE program are without merit.

You are pawns of your campaign contributors who are demanding quid pro quo.

It is reprehensible that Ms. Cupid would support illegal alien favoritism in the workforce for taxpayer paid projects because she is a legal immigrant.

Your refusal to implement the mandates of our laws equal traitor.
guyfromcobb
|
February 14, 2013
what an idiot you are Pat H.
Gordo Meis
|
February 13, 2013
It is clear that Lisa Cupid doesn't care that illegal aliens are taking jobs from Americans - mostly black Americans - cry me a river huh? Cupid doesn'r say what she finds wrong with the IMAGE law, because she probably doesn't understand it anyway. Maybe she can get legal advice from that genius, Rich Pellegrino.

Helen Goreham is on her way out but may be too arrogant to understand the level of resentment she has created here in West Cobb with this and her 'I am a Queen' attitude.

I hear that Bill Byrne is gong to run against her. That would be a great relief.

Tim Lee has sold out, Helen has sold out but she doesn't think we know and Cupid doesn't seem to be too smart - and overly concerned with "groupos" A true liberal identity politics product of Obama's takeover of America.

Whatever happens, we can thank D.A. King for having the eggs to try to help save jobs in Cobb.
boyfromcobb
|
February 14, 2013
Gordo, you're and idiot too.

anonymous
|
February 13, 2013
From Cupid:

"Give me something that measures up.”

Give me this, give me that,I'm too lazy to actually draw up a proposal on my own. I'll just give vague criticisms of the existing proposal and blame "the man" for holding my people down.

Rich Pellegrino
|
February 13, 2013
Well said Commissioners Cupid and Goreham. You show leadership in that you cannot be intimidated by those who attempt to bully.

Even though I am against wasting time on the IMAGE, especially in light of the fact that very soon those it targets will legally be able to work here (thanks to bi-partisan support for Immigration Reform in Congress), I respect you whatever your decision is.
Case In Point
|
February 13, 2013
Note to Lee, Goreham & Cupid - when Pellegrino is praising your actions, maybe you might want to reconsider.

So you want illegal aliens to be able to work? Great, because Pellegrino has yet to find a real job.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides