Colbert council members have voiced confusion recently over guidelines for verifying that those who work or perform contract labor for the city are truly American citizens.
But the issue may now be laid to rest.
After months of stressful debate and in depth studying, members of the Colbert city council successfully resolved their verification dilemma June 7 thanks to city clerk Vicky Smith.
“I attended a S.A.V.E. webinar this week, which is the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement, and what I’ve learned is that it may not affect us at all!” said Smith.
Mayor Chris Peck, realizing there may have been some confusion between the S.A.V.E. and E-Verify systems, shed some light on the situation.
“I think these were just two separate things that we got confused and mixed together,” said Peck. “The E-Verify is for new city employees, whereas the S.A.V.E. system is for contracting businesses that we suspect may be using illegal workers.”
Further discussing the technicalities of the system, Smith revealed how she believed the process would most likely work.
“Under this program, unless we really suspect that someone holding the license is an illegal alien, we don’t have to go through the verification,” she said. “But if we get someone within the city that we do suspect as being illegal, then we actually have the right to verify them.”
Offering his thoughts on the matter, council member Bert Robinson raised an issue he believed mirrored the ongoing controversy in Arizona.
“It’s a very vague concept,” he said. “It’s basically just a personal judgment call.”
City attorney Dale Perry, agreeing with Robinson’s comment, offered his thoughts.
“It’s just another attempt by the Georgia State Legislature to look like they’re doing something, without really doing something,” stated Perry.
Peck thanked Smith and said “this is one topic I hope to never see on the agenda again.”