Illegal immigration opponents urge action

By Amanda Casciaro, Marietta Daily Journal, September 27, 2006

MARIETTA - An east Cobb man called on Cobb commissioners Tuesday to pick up where federal officials have left off in the battle against illegal immigrants in the county.

D.A. King, a well-known proponent against illegal immigrants, asked commissioners at their Tuesday meeting to look into implementation of a federal pilot program to combat the issue.

The program, a staple in many cities including Hazelton, Pa., allows businesses to search the employment eligibility of potential workers in about "five seconds," King said.

Cobb Commission Chairman Sam Olens said the county already is researching the program, and it would be in place "way before the state-mandated deadline."

"Our police department is spending hundreds of hours on this issue," Olens said. "We're not taking this lightly, but I really do wish the federal government would wake up because this issue emanates from them."

Mary Kirkendall, a resident of a neighborhood off South Cobb Drive near Smyrna, also asked commissioners to do more to curb illegal immigrants in Cobb, starting with those who live in alleged boarding homes.

Although locating illegal immigrants is a major concern for county officials, Olens said, "We need to comply with state and federal laws. I'm not going to ask the police department to violate the U.S. Constitution."

Officers cannot go door-to-door to ask for proof of residency without probable cause, he said.

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