IMAGE for Cobb would ensure that jobs go to legals
February 23, 2013 11:55 PM | 2446 views | 21 21 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bob Ott
Bob Ott
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Commissioner JoAnn Birrell (MDJ/File)
Commissioner JoAnn Birrell (MDJ/File)
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DEAR EDITOR:

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.

JoAnn Birrell

District 3 Commissioner

Bob Ott

District 2 Commissioner

Cobb County Board of Commissioners
Comments
(21)
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Rich Pellegrino
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February 26, 2013
Good Commissioners...if you had truly done your research you would not perpetuate myths that are promoted by emotionally based xenophobes:

Myths:

1)IMAGE will do anything new. Fact: It is truly an IMAGE and a mirage to say that you and ICE are doing something.

2) Undocumented immigrants are taking anyone's jobs in Cobb. Fact: All independent studies indicate they actually create a net gain of jobs for the citizens in their communities through their buying power and taxes paid.

So your efforts appear to be pandering to hatemongers and/or appear to be based on other motives.

For years I have offered to you and to the community to help any citizen who even feels that he/she has been displaced by an immigrant to get a job through my extensive network of business contacts who regularly contact me for workers, and not one single taker so I can only assume that this whole issue is fueled by whiners who are seeking scapegoats for their own self induced woes, and if you are pandering to that it only enables that behavior.
Don4366
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February 26, 2013
Hey, guys. Don't forget to include the "independent contractors" and the "consultants" in your legislation. Otherwise, all you are doing is prolonging the illegal-aliens-in-the-work-force scam.
dustoff
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February 25, 2013
I imagine that if ICE walked into several local paving, landscape, or utility contractor offices and actually checked their payroll records they would find a whole bunch of fake documents on file (if they did exist) for the illegals they have working.
gadget4781
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February 24, 2013
Just let us legal citizens vote on this IMAGE. one vote every four years is not enough.
eaglesglen
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February 24, 2013
As it is illegal to participate in breaking the law especially to offer or pay taxes for the purpose of breaking the law; it is impossible to collect taxes and impossible to pay taxes for anything less than deportation (process) of illegal aliens. Thereby tax fraud to reward illegals in any manner. I look forward to the injunction against illegal use of taxes. Illegals claim they paid taxes which covers almost nothing of the cost of removing illegals?
Be Careful
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February 24, 2013
To all those who are against IMAGE:

We seem to have forgotten the difference between the words "legal" and "illegal".

You want to ignore illegal activity because it's the easy and cheap thing to do.

Easty and cheap isn't right.

America was built by people coming here from other lands to make a better life for themselves and their families.

But...there is a proper process to go through to accomplish this. Even back in the day, people had to register at Ellis Island in New York.

Coming to this country the proper way is nothing new.

If you come to this country without following proper procedures, you are breaking the law, you are a criminal...thus, you are called an "Illegal Alien".

Companies who hire illegals and pay them cash under the table are avoiding taxes and benefits they should be providing. Those companies are also acting in a criminal manner.

Criminal companies should not be awarded government contracts.

Period.
misterbill
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February 24, 2013
@Be Careful

There is a breed of American today that cares little for patriotism and allegiance to this great country. Their main focus is the acquisition of goods and services at the least possible price. In that manner, they share the same failing of the executives who seek the lowest labor prices to sell at the lowest prices, yet with the highest profit margins.

When matched against the general well being of America, a conflict arises. Jobs and equipment are moved overseas to achieve the low prices. Example: "The average salary in China, the second-largest economy in the world, is US$7,872 per year."

So, the average American is faced with the choice of buying low price products from China (and other countries). It is a Catch 22. More and more items will be manufactured overseas to save on labor costs. At the same time , construction companies and may other are hiring illegal labor to perform work that they are unable to ship overseas.

The American middle class labor market is being savaged between the two. To compound the issue, many alien laborers send a large share of their money back to their native countries. A double hit on America with that.

I make an effort to find products made in America. I am willing to pay a little more for USA made merchandise. I fear it is too late, though. There are too many American who only care what the "bargain" is for today and who do not have a clue or care what the results are for tomorrow.

---and , sometimes, the employers are aided and abetted by their friends who have been elected to public office.

The other thing I have noticed about this issue is that many people sympathize with those who take American jobs until they or their families are effected. Then they rise up--but too late.
Rich Pellegrino
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February 26, 2013
Be Careful: Be careful because by your words you indict many of us Americans and our ancestors who came here illegally (Italians, Irish, Germans, etc etc) if you really learn history.

No human being is "illegal"--that is just a code word to dehumanize the situation and the people.

And one doesn't have to go far back to look for culpability--under the conspiracy law we are all guilty because we all--every American, every business, every level of government--directly or indirectly invited the current wave of immigrants here to perform cheap and highly productive labor to maintain our standard of living. And then when the economy tanked we had to scapegoat someone--how Un-American, inhuman, un-Christian!

Thankfully, the nation is waking up (Georgia and Cobb always a little behind) and will soon give them a path to legalization.
ugagrad
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February 24, 2013
thank you Mr. Ott and Ms. Birrell for doing what is right. Mr. Lee and the other bafoons in your office ought to be ashamed of themselves... didn't expect anything different from them though.
I know!
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February 24, 2013
Thinking beyond the immediate ramifications of the ordinance definitely makes them bafoons!
Off Balance
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February 24, 2013
@I Know

Thanks for agreeing with ugagrad. I do too!!!
This letter was fun!
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February 24, 2013
This letter was super fun thanks!

All of this does not matter as the IMAGE ordinance will not pass.

It will fail 3-2.

Time to swallow that one.

So funny how the same people who carry a banner for smaller government and less intrusion by the federal government are so happy to invite them in to lord over business when it comes to illegal immigrants.

Not only will this ordinance fail - as it is completely unnecessary - the federal government will pass, during this Congress, comprehensive immigration reform that wil provide the 11 million illegal immigrants a path to legal status. Both plans put forward by Democrats AND Republicans include that provision.

So, this is unnecessary, a waste of time, a waste of money, and will be obsolete here in a few months anyways.

Time to move on.
A Taxpayer
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February 24, 2013
If the purpose of government was not to set laws against criminal behavior that harms others, and then enforce those laws, then your comments would make sense. Unfortunately making and enforcing laws against behavior that harms others is not an example of "big government." It is an example of the reason government exists. This is not supposed to be a lawless land. Any law designed to uphold existing law that was designed to prevent criminals from behaving criminally, or prevent others (contractors) from aiding and abetting criminals in their criminal activities, is good law.
Just Sayin'....
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February 25, 2013
Agreed 100%! The law will be changed in a matter of months and all this time and money could be put to much better use. Ott and Burrell...There comes a time when it appears that you are just jousting at windmills, and this would be one of those. Also, during this entire debate, no one, including Commissioner Ott has mentioned one instance of "legals" losing a job in the past few years, or of illegals being caught working for our county or their contractors.
Great letter
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February 24, 2013
Commissioners Birrell and Ott. Great letter in the Sunday MDJ. You both are truly exceptional.

wouldn't go that far
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February 24, 2013
Ott and Birrell are simply doing what they are supposed to do. Uphold an oath to govern in a manner that protects the people(and their property) that elected them.

I wouldn't put them on a pedestal, they should just be encouraged to do their job properly.

They should not stand for the shenanigans that are going on here in Cobb. They and this goes for every last one of the commissioners should be ashamed by the conditions in their county, especially south Cobb. And much of the poverty is directly related to the illegal alien communities that have allowed to exist, openly.

Not allowing illegals to take government jobs is one small slice. What about all the Americans that have had their jobs stolen and pay dropped to poverty levels in the private sector.

The private sectors jobs should be protected just as well. The commissioners are all ostriches as far as I'm concerned.
Marie in Marietta
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February 24, 2013
Finally, commissioners who are on the side of the American workers! And the law! Thank you both for taking the brave stand for the people and not the Chamber of Commerce! I have just donated to D.A. King so he can continue to push ideas like this. And I will donate to the campaigns of Mrs. Birrell and Mr. Ott. Also to whoever runs to defeat Helen Goreham. Even the MDJ reports that she lied about the IMAGE law at ther district meeting last week. It makes me sick. Tim Lee. I voted for you. But never again. Ever.
Bill Millette
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February 24, 2013
My thanks to Commissioners Ott and Birrell. They stand behind Cobb County's agreed upon entry into the IMAGE system. They understand the impact of job availability for American workers and they are examples of elected officials who stand for their oath of office and for American citizens.

America, as is most of the world, is going through tough times. Those who lead (?) our country--let me rephrase that-- those who were elected to lead our country, with the best interests of its citizens foremost in their efforts, seem to be overwhelmed by the difficult task of doing so.

We have in Cobb, two Commissioners who adhere to the idea that America and Americans come first.The others seem to be more concerned with the financial well being of friends or acquaintances who operate the businesses that are paid with tax money from our citizens.

I do not believe that participation in the IMAGE program is as arduous as Hercules' labors as one Commissioner would have us believe.

Pat H
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February 24, 2013
Thank you to Commissioners Ott and Birrell.

Traitors - Tim Lee, Helen Goreham and Lisa Cupid.
The Truth
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March 02, 2013
Pat H, there you go again. Have you fallen for the Ott show? He could care less about immigration or District 4 but if it gets in the paper (I think he owns a peice of the MDJ)or another vote (Cupid, hope you are much smarter than that), that is waht he will do. I pitty those like you who believe his crap.
Papermill gal
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February 24, 2013
So glad to see my commissioner speak out on this after it was already passed last year and other, more swayable commissioners have flipped on their support.

One of the arguments against IMAGE is that "we have not had any problems since 2010." Well, how do they know this? Do they have someone in charge of this? What is the mechanism that checks these large companies who do business with the county? They don't even know, do they?
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