Federal IMAGE Certification Program Designed to Expose Illegal Labor Largely Ignored in Cobb

Illegal immigration is big business in Georgia; according to the federal government, we rank ahead of Arizona.

Sadly, governments and agencies in Cobb County (including the ) are not using all of the available tools to protect jobs and tax dollars from illegal immigration. That will be outlined further down, but for the readers who have been thoroughly confused by the contradictory “facts” offered on immigration in the press, a short education on some basics before we get to official agencies in Cobb County.

In any discussion on the crime of illegal immigration, it is important to note that the United States takes in more real, legal immigrants than any nation on the planet - at more than one million annually.  By federal definition, an “immigrant” is someone who enters the U.S. lawfully with the intention of permanent residence.

Temporary workers are not immigrants. Foreigners who come on a tourist visa to visit Disney World are not immigrants.

Neither are people who stay beyond the departure dates stated in their visa or come over our borders illegally and escape capture by our brave Border Patrol Agents. These violators also have a proper and legal label. They are known as ‘illegal aliens.’  Including by the U.S. Supreme Court and the IRS.

Illegal immigration is big business in Georgia and according to the federal government we rank ahead of Arizona at number six in the nation in our population of immigration scofflaws with an official estimate of about 440,000 illegal aliens. The Pew Hispanic Center says that at least 7% of Georgia’s workforce is black-market labor.

Official unemployment in the Peach state is about 9%.

English is an optional language in Cobb County Georgia, USA.

A common mindless talking point from the people who oppose enforcement of American immigration laws in Georgia is that “immigration is solely a federal matter…local and state governments should stay out of it.” These are the same radical individuals who march in the streets demanding an end to any enforcement of immigration laws, including by the federal government, while screaming “stop the raids and deportations!” and “we welcome all immigrants – (legal or not)!”

To understand the illegal immigration battle it is important to realize that most people who come to the USA illegally are coming for the money. They can make far more of it here than in their own nation. And who wouldn’t want the no-cost medical care we must provide in our emergency rooms as per federal law? Not to mention the tax-funded education for their children in our public schools? And free translation...

The illegal aliens are indeed looking for a better life. And they are finding it. American laws be damned.

Governor Deal says illegal immigration is costing Georgia taxpayers about $2.4 billion each year. A better life indeed.

The employers who illegally hire the fugitive illegals - while Americans and real immigrants stand in unemployment lines - are also doing it for the money. Illegal aliens are here because they will work for far less than legal labor.

Which brings us back to government and official agencies in Cobb County. Because all politics is local and contrary to the shrill, victimized howls from the anti-enforcement crowd, the federal government has made certain tools available to state and local governments to fight illegal immigration and its root cause, illegal employment.

One federal tool is the no-cost ‘E-Verify’ database which is a system by which any employer can verify the eligibility to work of newly hired employees. An employer may not verify that eligibility of employees hired before the approved use of E-Verify and must use the system for all employees hired after being authorized to use the E-Verify system.

Until recently, illegal aliens hired before use of E-Verify had near zero chance of being discovered. Which is one reason we see periodic hidden-camera news video  reports on local TV showing smirking illegals working on county-funded construction jobs boasting that “we don’t need no stinking papers …”

Unused tool: The no-cost federal IMAGE certification job protection program

All governments in Cobb County should require all taxpayer-funded contractors providing workers be certified and audited under the no-cost federal ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program. You can read more about it here.

The (BOC) has already signed an agreement with ICE to become IMAGE certified itself, which means that the Human Resources Department has reviewed past employment records known as “I-9” forms and now will allow the federal immigration enforcement authorities to audit their hiring records.

That was merely step one. Step two should be to make it clear that only IMAGE-certified contractors will be considered for bidding on jobs in the near future.

Because the feds will verify employee identity documents offered at hiring before use of E-Verify — including Social Security numbers that are compared to existing records at Social Security headquarters — the black-market workers on the contractor’s payroll stand a very good chance of being exposed and removed. That is the last thing many powerful, campaign-donating, profit-over-patriotism public contractors want.

And it is exactly why readers should be calling and demanding that their own government apply to become IMAGE certified and then to require the contractors who provide workers paid with tax dollars to do the same.

It’s just common sense.

King is a nationally recognized authority on illegal immigration and president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society. He has assisted Georgia legislators with illegal immigration related legislation since 2005.

(Note from D.A. King: We’ll offer more information on IMAGE certification in Cobb here in the future and report on which governments and agencies are striving to do everything possible to preserve jobs for Americans and the immigrants who join the American family according to our laws)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Pam J August 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Finally, somebody who can intelligently battle against Richard Pelligrino. I've seen some of your articles on the MDJ, but since they've started their silly "pay or no see" program, they will no longer "see" me.


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