D.A. King column in today’s Cherokee Tribune
Earlier this year, the U.S. Census reported that from 2000-2005, Georgia suffered the highest increase in illegal immigration in the entire nation… at 114%. The next closest state? Arizona – a “border state” – with 45%.
Most Americans are beginning to realize that absent the promised federal protection of secure borders and enforcement of employment and immigration laws, we all live in border states – and counties – now.
In October, Cobb County began the process of using two very effective federal tools aimed at compliance with federal law. The Board of Commissioners also voted unanimously to recommend use of a third tool provided by the federal government for use by state and local government to enforce immigration laws.
The same tools are available to Cherokee County.
Like county governments all over the country, Cobb has realized that that local governments can – and must – take action to deter illegal employment and immigration in the communities they have been elected to protect and serve.
What a concept.
Here is what Cobb has done and what Cherokee County can do with a simple vote by the Board of Commissioners:
*Enrolled in the Basic Pilot Program, a federal data base that verifies newly hired employees eligibility to work in the U.S. Enrollment and use of the program has no cost to the employers who use it to be sure they are complying with existing federal laws.
It is a federal crime to employ an alien in the U.S. illegally. Cherokee County is an employer and should no longer ignore the fact that illegal aliens use false documents when they complete the required “I-9” form in applying for work.
Cherokee County hires contractors who also are employers. If the goal is to be sure that no taxpayer dollars go to pay illegal labor – and it should be – Cherokee County should require all of it’s contractors to use the Basic Pilot Program as a condition of being hired…as Cobb County has done. [Sadly, the Basic Pilot Program is intended for new employees only and cannot be used to check existing workers legal status.]
*Enrolled in the federal government’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements [SAVE] program that verifies the eligibility of any applicant for public benefits. Using immigration status as one of its criteria, the SAVE program is the same basic data base from which the Basic Pilot Program operates. It works to insure that no taxpayer dollars go to pay benefits to anyone not eligible for federal money sent to the county in the form of Block Grants.
In short, SAVE helps to insure that the limited taxpayer dollars go to those for whom it is intended. Rather like they do it in Mexico.
There is no cost to register with the feds and checking the eligibility of an applicant for benefits using the SAVE program costs about 25 cents.
Both programs have been available nation wide for about two years.
*With the Cobb Commissioners blessing and recommendation, Neal Warren, the Cobb County Sheriff – like the sheriff in Mecklenburg County North Carolina and many other local law enforcement agencies nationwide – has applied to the federal government for training of local law enforcement personnel to expand their existing and inherent authority to help the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency [ICE] enforce immigration laws.
This training to multiply the effects of the understaffed ICE agents was authorized in section 287 – g of the 1996 Immigration and Nationality Act. It would seem like a “no brainer” for Cherokee County to take advantage of a valuable tool that has been available for ten years. Si?
In North Carolina, Mecklenburg County began using the 287 – g training in April and by October had apprehended and built a case for deportation for more than 650 illegal aliens.
There are several proven effects of all three tools outlined here: legal residents are getting the jobs that illegals have been taking, wages are going up, Americans are receiving the benefit of their own tax dollars and illegals are leaving for counties and areas more hospitable to them.
If the Cherokee Commissioners combine the use of these tools along with taking the brave and logical step of discouraging landlords from sheltering and harboring illegal aliens [another federal crime] the result will be that Cherokee County will become a leader nationwide in fighting illegal immigration…and illegals will begin to leave.
What a concept… Si?
King is president of the Dustin Inman Society, a Marietta-based coalition dedicated to educating the Georgia public on the consequences of illegal immigration. On the Web: www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org