Questions: Why is Cobb Chairman Tim Lee fighting the effort to insure that taxpayers aren’t paying contractors that use illegal labor? Why aren’t we using all available tools to protect JOBS! JOBS! JOBS?...and what is the no-cost federal IMAGE program?
May 22, 2012 -
Cobb BOC Chairman signs agreement for Board to become IMAGE certified. The no-cost IMAGE program detects false documents used by illegal workers during the hiring process. We need the same program for all taxpayer funded contractors.
On the left, foreground, Brock Nicholson, ICE special agent in charge for the Atlanta field office. Nicholson said he has been proud to partner with Cobb County, starting with the 287(g) program the agency has with the Cobb Sheriff's Office, which allows local governments to have access to the ICE database. Since 2007, thousands of Cobb inmates have been identified as illegal aliens.
We applaud your forward thinking, we appreciate the partnership," Special agent Nicholson said then. We must be asking why Chairman Lee has changed his mind about protecting jobs for Georgians and asking why he isn't rushing to correct a bogus change in county law and act to require all Cobb contractors to apply for IMAGE certification.
UPDATE - 5:00 PM Friday – We just got a call from Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott. He tells me that he has asked that the language of ordinance be changed to actually reflect requirement that Cobb contractors apply for IMAGE certification. Good work sir! Great news and great work commissioner Ott! We don't think Chairman Lee is going to like this!
UPDATE – Below is the language of the ordinance in question and a link to today’s MDJ news coverage on the scam.
“Sec. 2-143. Employment of Unauthorized Aliens Prohibited. It is the policy of Cobb County that unauthorized aliens shall not be employed to perform work on county contracts involving the physical performance of services. Therefore, the County shall not enter into a contract for the physical performance of services within the State of Georgia unless the contractor shall provide evidence on County-provided forms that it and its subcontractors have registered for and are participating in the federal work authorization program as defined by O.C.G.A. § 13-10-90 et seq. to verify information of all newly hired employees.”
13-10-90 is the definitions section for the 2006 state E-Verify law ---The Cobb BOC itself signed a publicly signed their own agreement with ICE on IMAGE certification in May. This ordinance language is an intentional ruse. Anyone slightly familiar with legislation/immigration and employment verification can see what Lee hopes no one will.
If you haven’t, you can read today’s MDJ news report on the matter here. The headline is very wishful thinking.
Let’s let the feds explain the IMAGE job protection program. The below comes from the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement Website:
“IMAGE -- Your Workforce Compliance Partner Becoming an IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) member is now easier than ever. Undocumented workers secure jobs through fraudulent means such as presenting false documents, completing fraudulent benefit applications and stealing someone’s identity. To combat unlawful employment and reduce vulnerabilities that help illegal aliens gain such employment, ICE announced the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program in July 2006. This program assists employers in targeted sectors develop a more secure and stable workforce. It also enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training.IMAGE Certification and ProgramICE has streamlined the IMAGE certification process. IMAGE now offers a formal membership certification program that focuses on exceptional employers that have the ability to effect change within their industry or region. These employers also serve as an example and role model in the business community while highlighting the importance and viability of immigration compliance. Program participants will be deemed IMAGE certified upon enrollment and completion of IMAGE membership requirements. Employer feedback on the IMAGE program and industry participation in IMAGE will serve to guide DHS in shaping future worksite enforcement policy. By voluntarily 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 (USCIS) will provide education and training on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection and use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program. Members will also learn about the importance of avoiding discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision § 274B.8 U.S.C. § 1324b. Employers seeking certification in IMAGE must agree to:
Upon enrollment and commitment to DHS' best employment practices, program participants will be deemed "IMAGE Certified" – a distinction DHS believes will become an industry standard. The results of the IMAGE program will guide DHS in shaping future worksite enforcement policy and legislation.IMAGE members are required to participate in E-Verify, an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. For more information about the Form I-9 visit I-9 Central, a website dedicated to making guidance more accessible and user-friendly. The site provides employees and employers with one online location to keep them up to date with the information needed to properly complete Form I-9.”
- Complete the IMAGE Self-Assessment Questionnaire (Application)
- Enrroll in the E-Verify program within 60 days
- Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy that includes an internal Form I-9 audit at least once a year
- Submit to a Form I-9 Inspection
- Review and sign an official IMAGE partnership agreement with ICE
It is important to know that the Cobb County Board of Commissioners has already signed an agreement to become “IMAGE certified”. in May, 2012. You can read about that in the archives
of the MDJ.
The big question should now be: Why is Cobb Chairman Tim Lee fighting the effort to require the contractors hired by the BOC to be IMAGE certified? (Hint, along with the ACLU, Cobb’s Village Thinker Rich Pellegrino and the National Council of The Race/La Raza, the powerful, campaign-donating Chamber of Commerce is historically very actively against
any immigration enforcement action that involves ridding employers of black-market labor). And…why is a proposal to change county ordinance that is supposedly aimed at IMAGE use for Cobb contractors a complete sham that has zero to do with the IMAGE certification process?
We’ll answer those question - and more - in the next blog. Meantime, Chairman Tim Lee can be reached at his county office