In the early 1980s, the promise was that if Congress legalized one million illegal aliens, the U.S. government would then secure the border and clamp down on the shameless employers who use fugitive illegal workers because they will work for less and are more “flexible.”
“Trust us” the president and Congress said when they passed the “one-time” 1986 legalization scheme. Look around. The amnesty ended up legalizing three times the officially estimated number of victims of geography. About 7 percent of Georgia’s workforce is today made up of illegal aliens, while state, local and federal officials alternate between scratching their heads on how to solve our unemployment crisis and ignoring it.
Which brings us to the ongoing de facto amnesty in Cobb County, and the three members of the Board of Commissioners who can’t seem to pull the trigger to require that taxpayer dollars only go to contractors who do everything possible to rid themselves of illegal labor. Or to use a simple tool that checks for possible identity theft by county-funded workers who have come to Georgia since the ‘86 federal amnesty.
The current language of the pending IMAGE ordinance (posted on this writers’ MDJ blog) just requires all employers who want to bid on work paid for by taxpayers to swear they have applied to federal authorities for IMAGE certification. There is no mandate that contractors already be IMAGE certified to work or bid.
Cobb would only collect affidavits from potential job bidders saying they have applied and collect valid ID from contractors who don’t have any employees. Radical stuff, eh?
The certification process will likely take years. This is simply an important and easy step to protect county-funded jobs for legal workers. The official estimated time to complete an application to become IMAGE compliant is a whopping 90 minutes. It is true the feds encourage employers who have applied to do a pre-audit internal check of the ID submissions and paperwork completed when an employee was hired. But it is not a requirement. This is done in-house with existing staff. No new employees are required. There is no added expense. Did I mention it is not required?
As a diversion from the fact that all this is about “jobs, jobs, jobs” and ID theft, the absurd proposition has been set forth that the county spend time inventing a program of awarding “points” to contractors who are IMAGE certified. As an “incentive.” Have contractors who won’t even apply for IMAGE compete with other contractors who won’t even apply for IMAGE. Great plan. Nice try from the people who are throwing jobless Americans under the bus and very efficiently exposing their true character while they put a political price on their neighbors’ ability to find work.
Happily, few Cobb voters accept this nonsense.
It needs to be pointed out yet again that in 2009 and 2010 illegal workers were found to be helping build the Cobb Courthouse, taking jobs from unemployed Cobb citizens who had paid into the SPLOST that funded the project. And that demanding that we do everything possible to safeguard public funds, our tax funded jobs and to discourage ID fraud is not regarded as “punitive” by the voting majority of Cobb residents.
There would be no punishment for anyone who does not want to apply for IMAGE certification — only a reward for those who swear they have done so. The reward is being allowed to bid on a public job.
It can only be regarded as a positive that so many voters now have so much more information to use when they vote again for county commissioners. Will it be the “Lee, Goreham, Cupid Cobb Amnesty of 2013”? When is the election again?
D.A. King is president of the Cobb-based Dustin Inman Society and a nationally recognized expert on illegal immigration.
He assisted in the creation of the pending IMAGE-for-Cobb-contractor’s proposal.