I am aghast to read in the MDJ that Cobb Chairman Tim Lee is now backing out on his solid, written promise to promote and support the proposal by Commissioners Bob Ott and JoAnn Birrell that all contractors paid with tax dollars use the federal IMAGE system. I am outraged that he is pretending to not fully understand that the “incentive” program put forth by Commissioner Helen Goreham would do nothing to stop the employment of illegals on our county jobs.
We have real trouble here in Cobb and we need to work to rid ourselves of the commissioners who are elected by the people, but work for the Chamber of Commerce.
I still keep an email sent to me from Cobb Chairman Tim Lee’s office from last summer just before the Republican primary for the top Cobb County post. I was delighted then that in it, Chairman Lee promised to implement an ordinance that would require contractors working for the county to apply for the no-cost federal IMAGE certification program.
The only way to say it is that Tim Lee has flip-flopped and his word apparently means nothing. It would be hard to be that kind in describing Helen Goreham.
All of us realize that illegal immigration is mainly caused by illegal hiring and that Georgia and Cobb have a serious unemployment problem. What are Tim Lee, Helen Goreham and Commissioner Lisa Cupid thinking?
The repercussions of passing the current IMAGE change may offend the Chamber of Commerce, Rich Pellegrino and the ACLU, but also will be that we see that many illegals who have used false documents to get a public-funded job are rooted out and removed.
With unanimous, bipartisan consent, as an employer, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners was the first in Georgia and I understand, one of only 10 public employers in the nation to become IMAGE-certified last year.
Lee’s quotes in the MDJ then show how important the program is in protecting jobs for American workers and safeguarding our county budget dollars. “The message … is that Cobb County takes its responsibility very seriously to make sure that everything possibly that could be done is being done to make sure the laws are being followed in our county and to make sure there’s an opportunity for equal employment for those that deserve it,” Lee said.
We must require an application to the federal authorities for use of the IMAGE program by all contractors who are paid with our taxes as a condition of having their bid accepted or any contract extended.
For those who don’t know, the IMAGE system not only requires monitored use of the easy E-Verify program for new hires, but also involves a self-audit of past hiring records and employee ID documents by the employers and then another check again by the ICE Agents. This is important because it is likely that illegal aliens who used fake or stolen ID now working for the contractors will be exposed.
This can only help Cobb and Georgia with our desperate illegal immigration problem. All of the board needs to support the common-sense ordinance put forth by Ott and Birrell!