Legal status of workers employed on county projects must be proven

By Russ Corey
Staff Writer

Published: Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 24, 2010 at 5:44 p.m.

Contractors who do business with Colbert County must now prove their workers are legal residents of the United States before being awarded contracts of $15,000 or more.

Commissioners also agreed that the county, as well as any contractor bidding on county projects, participate in the federal government's E-Verify program, a voluntary, Internet-based system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the United States.

Since contractors must prove the legal status of their workers, new county employees also must prove they are legal residents of the U.S., commissioners decided.

Commissioner Roger Creekmore, who brought the issue of illegal immigrants working on projects funded by taxpayer money to the commission, said the new requirements will become a part of the bid specifications contractors must meet before being awarded a contract.

Creekmore said the federal government already requires contractors bidding on federal contracts to use the E-Verify system. The state has no such requirements, he said.

“In our context, it's unfair to the taxpayers that we could take taxpayer money and support an illegal act,