At yesterday's meeting of the Hamblen County Commission, Wayne Dollar of T-FIRE (Tennesseans for Immigration Reform Education/Enforcement) asked the commission to require that contractors on local government and school construction projects sign or "attest" that they will not knowingly use illegal immigrants on a government contract that they are awarded.
Several months ago, the City of Morristown passed a somewhat similar proposal that applies to city contractors.
The document that contractors would sign can be compared to a "drug-free" workplace and other routine documents that are part of the process of submitting a bid on government work.
Here are excerpts from the T-FIRE proposal:
The Contractor...does hereby ...certify... and assure Hamblen County Government and/or Hamblen County Board of Education that the Contractor shall not knowingly utilize the services of an illegal immigrant in the performance of the above Contract....
The Contractor in undertaking measures to ensure that no employees working on this Contract are illegal immigrants shall, at a minimum, utilize E-verify as a means of determining the immigration status of employees who shall work...on this Contract. Further, the Contractor...will require that all subcontractors...utilize E-verify to verify the immigration status of (their) employees....
Hamblen County Government and/or Hamblen County Board of Education reserves the right to review the Contractor’s and his subcontractors' E-verify information to determine compliance with the above Attestation.
The proposal was sent to Committee for review and discussion in October. If passed by county commission, can this "no illegal worker" certification apply to school construction? Yes.
How? Either before or at the time that school construction money is appropriated by commission, commission can include a condition that the "no illegal worker" certification document must be a part of bid packages for school construction.
[Wayne and I are T-FIRE officers who are concerned as are many people across Hamblen County and across the state of Tennessee about the impact of illegal immigration on burgeoning crime and law enforcement costs, healthcare, jobs, education, etc.]