May 30, 2012

Rich Pellegrino in a letter to the editor of the Marietta Daily Journal: Immigration, employment and public benefits enforcement bad for economy – illegal aliens should be welcomed

Posted by D.A. King at 9:21 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

I promise I did not make this up…Rich can be contacted at and he craves attention.

Marietta Daily Journal

Letter to editor
May 30, 2012

‘Get tough’ stand to blame for poor economy

In learning of the Cobb Commission’s signing of the IMAGE agreement with the federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency, which supposedly will help the county prevent undocumented residents from applying for county jobs, one can only recall the folk song of the 1960s, “When will they ever learn?”

They say you are doing this to give the message that they are tough on illegal immigration. However, since the advent of their get-tough stance on immigrants in 2006, started by then Chairman Sam Olens and Sheriff Neil Warren and supported by present Chairman Tim Lee, with the signing of other enforcement agreements with ICE, such as 287(g), the county has experienced unprecedented budget deficits resulting in a rise in property taxes and a cut in services, most notably a cut in the police department’s budget producing furloughs and an inability, according to police officials’ reports, to recruit police officers.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots and show how getting tough on and attempting to drive out one segment of the society, who work hard and pays taxes here, has a ripple effect which results in the closing of businesses, the loss of jobs and revenue of citizens, a rise in crime, and the resulting budget deficits we are experiencing. (Yes, contrary to common the common belief, all independent audits, which I will be happy to provide, indicate that the undocumented immigrant population pays in substantially more in taxes than the services they receive, and they actually create jobs with their buying power.) The lessons learned from the politics of hate and exclusion directed toward one minority group in the past, especially here in the South, should have taught us that the whole community loses, becomes diminished and ends up paying for it — an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. “When will we ever learn?”

This new IMAGE agreement with ICE is just that — an image with no substance. It amounts to political pandering and not leadership — for how many undocumented residents do you really think apply for county jobs? Plus, if they did, the county already uses the E-Verify system so why waste time and taxpayer dollars for a redundant system?

The Cobb Immigrant Alliance will never support a “getting tough” stance on immigrants, whether they are documented or undocumented, as they are an integral and welcome part of our community who contribute to the quality of life here, and will remain so.

Rich Pellegrino
Cobb Immigrant Alliance