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Cobb BOC Rejects IMAGE Certification Program

The vote was 3-2 against the proposal.

Contractors who want to do business with Cobb County will not be required to apply for certification through a federal program intended to stop undocumented workers from obtaining employment through fraudulent means. 

It was standing-room only at the Cobb County administration building Tuesday night. And despite passionate arguments from speaker after speaker in favor of the proposed code change, county commissioners decided that the federal IMAGE program was not the best way to solve unemployment or the issue of illegal workers in Cobb.

"That objective can be obtained through quite a few different ways," Chairman Tim Lee said before the board voted 3-2 against the ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers program. "... I think this is bad policy today. There are other ways to skin a cat to get to the issue. This is too much without any quantifiable results."

As expected, the only officials who supported the proposed code change were the co-sponsors of the ordinance, District 2 Commissioner Bob Ott and District 3 Commissioner JoAnn Birrell. Lee, District 1 Commissioner Helen Goreham and District 4 Commissioner Lisa Cupid all voted against it.

Norm DeWalt of North Cobb told the board that the "vote ... is nothing more than supporting economic terrorism."

Jan Barton of Marietta called it a "vote for illegal workers."

D.A. King of the Dustin Inman Society and other residents said Georgia has a "serious" illegal immigration problem, which is why they supported IMAGE. 

"I want my children to be employed," said Patricia Hay of Mableton. "I want legal residents of the United States to be employed. You're voting to have illegal aliens have jobs over legal citizens."

Backers also said that the program would safeguard the county from embarrassing incidents that have rocked Cobb in recent years.

During the construction of the new Cobb courthouse, information surfaced that a contractor on the project had not verified the status of his employees. At one point, the contractor and the brickmasons who worked for him were pulled off of the job, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

And just this week, a WSB-TV report showed that unauthorized workers may have helped build a fire station in the city of Smyrna.

"We again are hiring illegal aliens to build our buildings," said Susan Stanton, who lives in an unincorporated section of Cobb near Kennesaw. "It's time we put our foot down. Protect our people, our workers."

Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 28, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Sorry Lissa but I stand up for humans, including you, and I don't really care or have a clue as to who or what is "Hispanic". Regarding your vast difference between being legal or not, again, I don't believe any human is "illegal" and don't judge. Each of the 12 million cases and individuals is just that--a unique situation--which no one can or should judge, (That is why we have a court system and govt.) If I/we were to get into judging each neighbor's status and who breaks the law then that would be a slippery slope indeed--and that is what needs to be avoided. Millions of undocumented immigrants founded this country, including many Europeans, Africans, Asians....and the recent wave were invited here again for cheap labor and now that we are having economic crises we want to scapegoat them. That is un-American, inhumane, un-Christian and just plain wrong.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 28, 2013 at 03:36 PM
Wise words indeed!
Observer February 28, 2013 at 09:16 PM
A man much wiser than you RIchard, Milton Friedman said that you can have open borders or you can have the welfare state, but you cannot have both. The sky must really be interesting in your land of Unicorns and Rainbows.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino March 01, 2013 at 05:48 AM
Hmmm Observer....you had better get some better vision-wear for your observations because no one I know is promoting either open borders or a welfare state--both of which are extreme positions that are not represented by the societal reforms I advocate (which I will be happy to share with you in more detail, if you are interested, either here or directly at pilgrim1@mindspring.com ).
Observer March 01, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Richard, you need to stop reading Rousseau and start reading Huntington. Your martyr complex is getting the better of you.

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