Cobb to join ICE enforcement program
May 17, 2012 02:23 PM | 3141 views | 18 18 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA (AP) — Cobb county is on the verge of becoming the first local government in Georgia to join a voluntary federal immigration enforcement program that aims to make sure all employees are in the country legally and eligible to work.

County commissioners plan to sign an agreement Tuesday with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to participate in the IMAGE program. While nearly 300 businesses nationwide have joined the recently revamped program, only a handful of municipalities across the country have done so.

Several municipal governments have turned out for IMAGE information and training sessions, and ICE expects to see more of them sign up for the program, said Brock Nicholson, head of the agency's Atlanta field office.

"It benefits them like it does any corporation or business," he said. "It helps them work towards ensuring that our workforce is a legal workforce."

The acronym stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers. Federal officials say it can reduce the employment of illegal immigrants and the use of fake identification documents.

Cobb has previously taken a tough approach on illegal immigration. Its sheriff's department is one of four in the state that participate in a local-federal partnership that allows specially trained local deputies to enforce federal immigration law. But County commissioner Bob Ott, who pushed for the county to join IMAGE, said this isn't about getting people deported. He said it will protect job opportunities.

"It's all about jobs for the folks in Georgia and Cobb County," he said. "It really comes down to just making sure that the limited number of jobs that are out there are going to the people that are entitled to have them."

To participate, employers must meet several requirements: enroll in the federal E-Verify program; submit to an ICE audit of their I-9 forms that new employees complete and related documents; establish a written hiring and employment verification policy that includes a yearly internal audit; and sign a partnership agreement with ICE.

The Association County Commissioners of Georgia has generally opposed state-level legislation that places the burden of verifying employment eligibility on local governments, but associate legislative director Todd Edwards said the association doesn't oppose local governments taking such action.

"If the county commissioners and the people of Cobb so desire to go with IMAGE, that's their choice," he said. "What we do have concerns with is any mandated approach by the state Legislature to require any and all counties to adopt the same measure."

In fact, Georgia law already requires public employers, including local governments, and their contractors to verify the legal work status of their employees using the E-Verify database.

Contractors must provide sworn statements to the government saying they have run the checks.

But Cobb has had problems in the past. Some workers on the construction of a new county courthouse in 2010 turned out to be illegal immigrants. It was determined that a subcontractor wasn't checking workers' eligibility as required.

While county participation in IMAGE would not have caught that problem, Ott says his goal is for the county to do business only with IMAGE-certified contractors.

The fulfillment of that goal is likely a long way off. Fewer than 300 companies nationwide are currently certified or have signed agreements with ICE to go through the certification process.

"It's not something that's going to happen overnight," Ott said. "But the message it sends out is the county is going to be serious about making sure that we're going to try to get the jobs to people that are entitled to have them."
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D.G. in Clarkdale
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May 18, 2012
Don't expect changes, the big contractors are BANKING on T.I.A. passing and they'll need the illegals to fatten their bottom line and in turn fill the campaign coffers of their patron politicians .... In my book that's immoral if not criminal.
Dave Francis
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May 18, 2012
In this climate of reducing illegal immigration, one of the most urgent laws to our countries financial survival, is to revisit the Birthright citizenship law. Presently anybody who can steal into this sovereign nation across the northern or southern border with an unborn child and settle here? Then can immediately gain citizenship for the child, opening the door for the whole immediate family and an abundance of special free privileges, This is not oriented to just illegal border crossers, but pregnant females who has the price of airline ticket, to impersonate as a visitor or other tourist, so they can take advantage of the welfare system in America. Just this week the Census Bureau announced that children, by racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of massive immigration growth that is now slowing. Those white people are not having children, unlike people of other nationalities. Most Americans with a Social Security number cannot meet the expense of a baby, let alone two, three or four or even five, that foreigners seem to conceive, specific in this current economy and especially under the Obama administration, as they unable to afford the expense of delivery or bringing up the child.

Whereas, migrants and illegal alien pay nothing for any of the prenatal services as it’s all free; Compliments of the unsuspecting taxpayer. Americans who have property, possessions and other assets are liable for hospital services with a $6.000 dollar bill to contend with, while a foreign national walks in, get free treatment for whatever that ails them and walks out free of any payment. Afterwards the U.S. citizen or any legal resident is hounded by debt collectors who have a range of possibilities, to force you to pay the bills, including dragging you to court.

The majority of thinking Americans have no trouble that is aware of costs for every foreign baby born here? Just ask the most welcoming state. The sanctuary state of California is now carrying the huge burden of $16 billion dollars, because of the strain allotting public assistance to every illegal alien who reaches the state of refuge. Los Angeles Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich website states that an illegal immigration costs $550 million for public safety and nearly $500 million for healthcare, a total cost to County taxpayers that exceeds $1.6 billion dollars a year and doesn't include the billions more in education. California, the epitome of a Sanctuary states will be the epicenter as millions of absconding aliens arrive there, from less benevolent states? Unfortunately left wing Governor Jerry (moonbeam) Brown is now preaching more taxes, cuts in benefits—when removing the millions of foreign national could save the state from this perfect financial storm.

The 14th amendment governing citizenship must be changed and although there are at this time over 87 sponsors to (H.R.140) Birthright citizenship bill, there it sits in limbo. Pressure groups are adverse to any amendment to this law and downright lying about the law has detrimental results. That not granting automatic citizenship to anyone and everyone born on U.S. soil would cost taxpayers money? The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) repudiates claims made by a high-immigration group that ending Birthright Citizenship would cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars per year. The argument is the National Foundation for American Policy early this year released a new report alleging that ending Birthright Citizenship would create a new "baby tax" for all U.S. citizens, create a second-class society, decrease income tax revenues for the federal government, and cause children born to illegal aliens to become stateless. Jon Feere, a legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, challenges every point set forth by the National Foundation for American Policy's report and says, "Supporters of the status quo understand that history is not on their side and have resorted to scare tactics to discourage discussion about the subject."

The claim that not granting citizenship to children born to illegal aliens would contribute to a growing population of illegal aliens. Feere argues that if immigration laws are enforced and illegal aliens are deported, they won't give birth to children in the United States. The fact that this happens in the first place has nothing to do with our birthright citizenship law, but rather lack of enforcement at the federal level. Another claim is CLAIM: Newborns born to illegal-alien parents will be stateless. Mr. Feere says this claim from the National Foundation for American Policy is flat-out false. Children born to illegal-alien parents in the United States are citizens of their parents' home country. A child born to parents from Mexico will receive Mexican citizenship. CLAIM: Children of illegal-alien parents will work in an underground economy. Feere says the United States can prevent illegal-alien children from entering an underground economy in two ways. First, the federal government can enforce immigration laws and deport illegal aliens, and second, Congress can pass an E-Verify law, requiring all employers to use E-Verify and imposing heavy fines on companies that participate in an underground economy.

mk-no audits
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May 18, 2012
If no one goes into the field and actually audits contractors on site, then the whole program is meaningless.

I open records requested city of Smyrnas contractors that had signed up w/ E-Verify, back in 2009.

What I found was a file of affidavits signed by the owner stating they would check ID's before hiring employees.(pinky swear)

But then you ride by these sidewalk, road and landscape projects it is clear that they are using illegals and day laborers and completely disregarding the LAW!

I will personally volunteer--(no pay), to drive around and spot audit these jobsites!

I will do this for my city and county to help ensure only legal workers get paid on government contracts!

Bob Ott, lets set up this citizen audit committee!

Get-Informed
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May 17, 2012
Insensitive idiots!!!! To begin, these individuals,unless they have committed a crime, are non-documented individuals----NOT ILLEGAL. To add, are you stating that children brought into this country at ages 1, 2 3 ,4,5,6, should go back to a country they neither know the culture? After we, the USA, educates these children in schools, feed them, transport them which is all legal to the age of 18, we should just discard them? This is pure ignorance. Would you run a company with this form a business paradigm? Train an individual for 13 years and provide them with all benefits and then fire them for no apparent rational reason? NO!!! So, why do this to the innocent children? As long as the children work hard in school, have no criminal record and go to college or the armed forces and pay taxes, they should be able to apply for citizenship. It's called the Dream Act. Who amongst you are Native American? All of your ancestors came over to this country for a better life, so why the racist attitude now?
mk-
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May 17, 2012
Look here, there are consequenses to actions!

If people choose to cross the border illegally and gamble w/ their childrens lives,.. they have noone to blame but themselves if they get caught.

We aren't all a bunch of fools here. It's pretty clear to most what the gig is! I do feel sorry for kids that are used as pawns . The parents should be punished and maybe more would think twice before having kids they aren't prepared to raise properly!

I never hear an answer to this question from the open borders crowd,.. WHY don't these young people stay in their beautiful homeland and FIGHT to save it?

I applaud Americans that want to keep our country from becoming as dangerous as Mexico! I don't want to see the day that headless torsos scattered along 285 , become the norm!
What A Joke
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May 17, 2012
@Get Informed: Name calling? Now, now....calm down. If you want to come to this country, follow the legal procedure and get in line. If you enter illegally, you are breaking the law. Jail and deportation are the answer.

I'll make a deal with you. If you write a check to the Cobb County School Board for $60 million, I'll hop off this conversation. Otherwise, you need to hop off. Oh, you probably need to write another zillion dollar check to cover all of the free healthcare too.
Last GA Democrat
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May 18, 2012
Maybe you should take a good look at the complete moron in the mirror before calling others "idiots" for wanting something as simple as the law to be enforced.

These aren't just individuals who are "just looking to feed their families", these are individuals who often resort to crimes like Social Security and identity theft as a means to an end.

Not to mention the issues of illegals driving without licenses and being involved in hit-and-runs that maim and kill innocent pedustrians and legal drivers and the dramatic uptick in the illegal drug trade that has come with the increase in illegal immigration in the area.

Looks like ILLEGALS are not as seemingly harmless as the open borders crowd makes them out to be, aye?
Bob Bummer
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May 18, 2012
To be in this great country undocumented is illegal. Just because a child does not know they are here illegally is not a free get out of jail card. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I have no empathy for law breakers and neither does my son-in-law that works in law enforcement. If you do the crime you should do the time.
tired of it
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May 18, 2012
to "get informed" you need to look up the meaning of racism. Yes they are illegal if they are here without proper documenation. and I assure you they are getting their culture at home half of their parents cant and wont even learn english after being in this country for years!!!!!! and also at 18 they can go back and file the proper papers. NO the kids cannot help it they were brought here illegally but when they become adults (18) they should do the right paperwork.
Get More Informed
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May 18, 2012
We have a process by which to become legal which all those who are considered illegal have by-passed.

Stop with the name calling. If you have something intelligent to say then do so in a civilized manner.

And your argument of the government raising a child only to discard them... Us as citizens have been paying taxes GALORE to raise and educate people who are in the country illegally! My property taxes again to help pay for these illegal's children! And you want to lecture us on discarding 18 year old men and women??? How about you lecture their home country who discarded their parents and children! NO WELFARE, NO SS, NO FOOD STAMPS, NO WIC, NO DISABILITY, NO SUBSIDIZED HOUSING, NO FREE ANYTHING!

America is the least most racist country in the world! Our government is color blind and will provide services to anyone, regardless of the color of their skin. Citizenship has nothing to do with the color of your skin! We as a country, just prefer you have citizenship if you are going to take advantage of our free services. PERIOD!

The dream act is the biggest slap in the face to those have gone through the legal process to obtain citizenship. I know many foreign born US citizens who are outraged that many other foreign born citizens would sneak into another country and then demand citizenship!
What A Joke
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May 18, 2012
@Get-Informed: Instead of helping illegals, why don't you help the parents of the 16 year old KMHS girl who was abducted by a 21 year old Latino over 2 weeks ago? Her name is Raquel Landry. Everyone reading this thread needs to help spread the word and find this girl. All other parents needs to protect their teenage girls from Latino abductions that appear to be on the rise. Rumor has it that girls are being smuggled back to Mexico for a certain industry. It's sick and sad. When are Americans going to protect their country from this invasion?
Frankie58
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May 17, 2012
I'll bet that Rich and Jerry are just fuming about this.....
Bob Bummer
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May 17, 2012
Illegals immigrants and criminals should not be working but instead locked in the jail. My son-in-law workis in law enforcement and could use the overtime so the stricter the laws are the better. Stricter laws and more prisons is what I say. If you do the crime you should do the time.
Pat H
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May 17, 2012
Demand to see the real employee list from C.W. Matthews, the county's favorite contractor. With the exception of Tip Top Poultry and Waste Management, they are the biggest offender.

We need a lawyer who can wear big boy pants who will sue an employer when their employee uses their wages to buy a car without a driver's license and then have enough money left over from their illegal wages to buy liquor and cause serious accidents that maim and kill taxpaying citizens. Awhile back, a drunken illegal who worked at McDonald's on Highway 41 in Kennesaw got drunk and killed many family members. This was the perfect scenario to sue the owner of that McDonald's who had to have known the drunk was an illegal.
anonymous
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May 17, 2012
Also check the employee list of BTE, PBSJ, MA, Atkins, Chickfla, Burger King etc.

Cobb County School supt.

Pat H. they are about 36% percent of legal's outside of the work force, that will not do the jobs that are available for the illegals.

Mr. Tippens might have some illegals in operation.
tired of it
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May 18, 2012
CW Matthews is hooked up with someone that works for the county you ever notice who ALWAYS gets county contract? not a coincidence I assure you.
What A Joke
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May 17, 2012
Just another bureaucratic waste of money. There are thousands illegals in the Sandtown/Powder Springs Rd/South Cobb Dr sector. I can't find a business sign written in english in any of these areas. What is ICE waiting for, a guided tour of the area? It's not that difficult to find.

This problem ties directly to the Cobb County School Board's budget shortfall. Remove the illegals who pay zero taxes, and then the costs to run the school system in Cobb will drop drastically. All I see are complaints from teachers who are having to deal with furloughs, largers classes and too much time spent dealing with students who are unable to speak english.

Again, this is a joke.
mk-smyrna's illegals
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May 17, 2012
I suggest checking out the Atlanta Road medians & sidewalk program right in front of Smyrnas police dept, city hall & city attorneys office.

I would be shocked , to say the least, if all the guys working for Baldwin Paving , Croy and other contractors, are in the country legally.

Just because companies sign up and say they are in compliance, doesn't mean they don't bring in day laborers that aren't on the official payroll!

There's big, big money to be made on government contracts!
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