Mayor wants proof illegal immigrants working on convention center

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 11:45pm
karl-dean.jpg

In an interview with The City Paper, Mayor Karl Dean said if State Rep. Mike Turner has “real information” confirming illegal immigrants are working on the construction of the city’s new convention center, then he should present it.

Dean, however, doesn’t believe that’s happened yet.

Turner, who serves as the House Democratic Caucus Chair, has said he plans to file a complaint with the Tennessee Department of Labor that contends Bell/Clark Construction, the contractor for the new $585 million Music City Center, is employing illegal immigrants.

“Clearly he has a responsibility, if he has real information, concrete information, to come forward with it,” Dean said. “He’s a public official, and he should share that with us, so we can take whatever corrective action we need to take if there is indeed some specific information that he possesses. But, to my knowledge, that hasn’t been done yet.

“Just saying that, ‘I’ve been down there and I saw some people I thought might not be ...’” continued Dean, stopping short of finishing the sentence. “I don’t understand that.”

Reportedly, Turner said he learned of the illegal-immigrant issue from people who work at the 16-acre construction site. Turner, who said he has visited the site, claimed he saw construction workers first-hand who he believes are illegal immigrants.

Dean, who successfully pushed the Metro Council to approve financing the facility in January, said the contract the Convention Center Authority signed with Bell/Clark requires all workers have proper documentation. He said he’s been assured that project leaders have taken that requirement seriously.

“There’s an obligation under the contracts by, for instance, Clark/Bell to make sure that everybody they’re hiring, that they have the appropriate documentation in terms of citizenship,” Dean said. “That is part of the contract, and it’s their responsibility to enforce that. We’ve been assured that they take that very seriously and that they’re taking all reasonable steps to get that done.

“I know what the contract says,” Dean said. “I know what they’ve told us. If there’s any issue regarding it, we’ll address it.”
 

34 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 7/15/10 at 4:03

Of course he does, as a sanctuary city he doesn't want all
this checking of citizenship rubbish. Besides how can Mr.
Bell and the other contractors make as much money if they
have to pay full wages and those pesky SS taxes and benefits!

By: idgaf on 7/15/10 at 5:22

This clown don't have a clue or thinks we don't.

When he has one of his lackeys complaining he better pay attention.

He lied about the financeing to this tribute to his ego now he is trying to rub our face in it? I'd like to see him in jail. The guy don't know when to keep his mouth shut. If we elect him again we deserve to be _ _ _ _ _ _ in the _ _ _.

By: metrodude on 7/15/10 at 5:25

Mike-Make up your mind. You can't ram a bill through the legislature giving illegals the right to get a drivers license and then not allow them to work. Hurry up and give me some more of that "party of no" cause we can't stand much more of the "yes" crowd.

By: ButchKerns on 7/15/10 at 6:39

Dean doesn't want to discover the truth or he would ask Sheriff Hall to investigate. Hall could run a random sample of workers through E-Verify and either substantiate the allegation or find it baseless. Dean wants to maintain Nashville as a sanctuary city welcoming illegal aliens so they can take jobs from unemployed Nashville workers and driving down wages for all blue collar workers. I know it makes liberals all warm and fuzzy to help the downtrodden, but for every illegal alien they help, it hurts one citizen of Nashville. Dean's answer that it is the contractor's duty to verify legal status of its workers is correct but would you put the fox in charge of the hen house. Dean is just one more illegal alien enabler politician.

By: Kosh III on 7/15/10 at 6:39

Drivers License/certificate is an issue of public safety not immigration.
It's bad enough many of the locals don't know how to drive properly(no turn signal etc) without adding unqualified drivers from another country.

I'd assume that when Rep Turner actually files his complaint, substantiation will be provided or obtained. How hard is it to check these things? When I was hired at my current job I was REQUIRED to provide my birth certificate to verify citizenship. Why can't these workers at the big dig?

By: budlight on 7/15/10 at 7:02

Just saying that, ‘I’ve been down there and I saw some people I thought might not be ...’” continued Dean, stopping short of finishing the sentence. “I don’t understand that.”

He doesn't understand what? What does this sentence mean?

Kosh, I agree with you. I've never had a job that I did not have to PROVE my citizenship. I-9's anyone? Verify their I-9's KARL.

If there is a complaint, verify, verify, verify.

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 7/15/10 at 7:07

The State of Tennessee has poorly performing schools, inadequate health care and a host of other problems.

It is the responsibility of the state legislators to serve the people of Tennessee to improve the state. Some of them seem to think that undocumented immigrants are the cause of all the problems of this state.

As a native Tennessean, I know we had many of the same problems for decades, long before we had a significant number of immigrants (legal or otherwise). The state legislators should start working to fix what is wrong in our state and make it better, rather than try to distract people by pretending that the undocumented immigrants caused the problem.

Let the federal government enforce the federal immigration laws. Let the people who were elected to help Tennessee spend their time and effort on the long-term problems (as shown by Tennessee's low rankings in many areas).

By: Knofler on 7/15/10 at 7:10

More than likely the "Illegals" they saw work for a sub-contractor, not Bell directly. That is how the BIG guys stay legal and claim no knowledge of a workers status. If a raid or fine takes place it is the Sub that gets in trouble. Bell gets enough state contracts they know how to get around pesky rules/laws, or whose palm they need to grease.

By: gdiafante on 7/15/10 at 7:13

I agree with Dean. If you have proof, other than "they look illegal", then he should produce it.

By: idgaf on 7/15/10 at 7:14

Laughing at the thought that barry and the dems want to enforce the immigration laws.

They wants to give them all amnesty.

By: budlight on 7/15/10 at 7:20

By: gdiafante on 7/15/10 at 8:13
I agree with Dean. If you have proof, other than "they look illegal", then he should produce it.

G, read dean's quote where he stopped short of saying they "looked illegal". He was going to say it. He knows what "illegal" looks like and so do you.

By: budlight on 7/15/10 at 7:21

quote by dean:

Just saying that, ‘I’ve been down there and I saw some people I thought might not be ...’” continued Dean, stopping short of finishing the sentence. “I don’t understand that.”

G, what does he mean?

By: budlight on 7/15/10 at 7:22

idgaf on 7/15/10 at 8:14
Laughing at the thought that barry and the dems want to enforce the immigration laws.

They wants to give them all amnesty.

You are so correct.

I heard a report yesterday that Hilliary is planning to run against o'bama for president.

By: serr8d on 7/15/10 at 7:31

...illegal immigrants...

C'mon, get it right.

It's Undocumented Democrats, fer crying out loud.

By: idgaf on 7/15/10 at 7:40

How about illegal invaders?

By: TakePrideInNash on 7/15/10 at 7:41

Dean is just asking for proof, what is wrong about that?

By: idgaf on 7/15/10 at 7:42

Anyone else think the picture looks like a "DUH" picture?

Is it Halloweeen already with that orange tie?

By: TakePrideInNash on 7/15/10 at 7:49

Knofler, Bell is responsible for his subcontractors.

By: nonnahs on 7/15/10 at 8:12

So what if an illigal is working down at the convention center site. They are trying to survive. If you who don't want them working on the center want to go out and work in that heat for what they are paying then go ahead. Some people act like you have forgotten that we will all have a judgement day. Now why wont this guy go public and tackle all those big corps that are getting those huge tax breaks and then send all the jobs to India? Local companies like dupont, t-mobil-Niessan (they got a sweet deal to relocate here, and the list is very long. Leave those people alone.

By: Kosh III on 7/15/10 at 8:12

"idgaf on 7/15/10 at 8:14
Laughing at the thought that barry and the dems want to enforce the immigration laws.
They wants to give them all amnesty"

Prese Obama has done far more workplace enforcement than Bush ever did, the Border Patrol has been substantially enlarged as well.

Amnesty? You mean the McCain bill in 08 or the Raygun Amnesty in 86?

By: localboy on 7/15/10 at 8:17

"“Clearly he has a responsibility, if he has real information, concrete information, to come forward with it,” Dean said. “He’s a public official, and he should share that with us, so we can take whatever corrective action we need to take if there is indeed some specific information that he possesses."
Amen.

By: Squirrellymom@h... on 7/15/10 at 8:44

What does an "illegal immigrant" look like?

If we are judging based on "looks" then WE all should be willing to carry our birth certificate/passport around with us every day, all the time, to "prove" we are US citizens. "Ve vant to see your papers"

I believe we should calm down.

By: budlight on 7/15/10 at 8:51

Squirrellymom@h... on 7/15/10 at 9:44
What does an "illegal immigrant" look like?

If we are judging based on "looks" then WE all should be willing to carry our birth certificate/passport around with us every day, all the time, to "prove" we are US citizens. "Ve vant to see your papers"

I have a copy of my TN DL AND my CA birth certificate in my purse at all times.

And we will calm down as soon as ILLEGALs cannot get away with ILLEGAL behavior - ie, being here illegally!

Is there something about the definition of illegal that libs don't get? Is it illegal to rob a bank? yes Is rape illegal? Yes Is murder illegal? yes

IS coming across an international border without proper documentation and authority illegal. YES, YES, YES AND THEN SOME.

Funny how they charged the Russians with illegal and yet mexicans get a pass. 11 Russians vs. 11 million illegals. DUH what's wrong with that photo?

So "calm down" squirrley mom? NOT!

By: 117_acres on 7/15/10 at 9:08

budlight you stated:
"Just saying that, ‘I’ve been down there and I saw some people I thought might not be ...’” continued Dean, stopping short of finishing the sentence. “I don’t understand that.” He doesn't understand what? What does this sentence mean"?

Dean is quoting Rep. Turner's statement in a previous interview. Turner said that recently while on duty as a fireman he had to worked an accident at the site and saw some workers that appeared to be illegal aliens...

Dean is saying that you can't go on just whether someone looks illegal.

FYI Mike Turner is a very involved with Unions and he is probably the biggest Union supporter in the TN General Assembly. Most of the work at the Music City Convention Center is being done by Unions. I'm sure some of the Union folks probably got a little upset with some of the work that is being outsourced to Non-Union Contractors and are just trying to create turmoil for them by saying they are hiring illegals. This is how Unions bully Non-Union contractors and workers. I

In my opinion we should leave the site alone and let Contractors get the thing built. Filing complaints only delays things which will cost tax payers more money in the long run. For example the construction project at the 911 site in New York City.

By: yucchhii on 7/15/10 at 9:46

How about ALL jobs that need to be available to "AMERICAN CITIZENS". That includes companies that hire ILLEAGLE immigrants such as and not restricted to construction companies, lawn crews, landscape companies, waist recycling companies and a number of other companies that do all kinds of things. This is one of the reasons why most AMERICAN CITIZENS are out of work! Don't let the employers fill you full of gump saying that americans want to much money. Americans want not only to survive, but to live comfortably as well. SCREW THE HAVES AND THE HAVE MORES!!!! Also, to make America productive again, it will NEVER happen untill AMERICAN jobs are brought BACK from ASIA!!!!!!!!! AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE FED UP WITH POLITICIANS TRYING TO BS THE AMERICAN CITIZENS!!!!

By: bringingbackcom... on 7/15/10 at 9:50

"Cant blame the Mayor for wanting proof, and Mike perhaps has something he is going to share with the proper authorities, I heard him mention DOL. I would say that he should have just kept it to himself until DOL was notified and a proper investigation took place.!"

"The bottom line is that one would have to put a person in as an employee to eventually catch the person giving out little envelopes stuffed with money each week with a name on it that typically occurs on any long term construction event; however after all of the grandstanding and political posturing it may be to late.!"

By: dogmrb on 7/15/10 at 9:54

We elect the politicians or by our lack of voting and participating in the political process, let others make the rules for us. It's a tedious and frustrating system but I'll take it over a dictatorship any day. All Dean said is "show me the proof". That's what all of us should ask from our elected officials that make global claims.

By: Dragon on 7/15/10 at 10:01

"“There’s an obligation under the contracts by, for instance, Clark/Bell to make sure that everybody they’re hiring, that they have the appropriate documentation in terms of citizenship,” Dean said. “That is part of the contract, and it’s their responsibility to enforce that."
"“I know what the contract says,” Dean said. “I know what they’ve told us."

So, is anyone asking to see the documentation? Guess not. Dean just takes their word for it.

By: xhexx on 7/15/10 at 10:16

Dean always looks like a drunk in photos.

By: Squirrellymom@h... on 7/15/10 at 10:39

It would seem that if Mike Turner received a complaint he, as a representative, could phone Mayor Dean's office and start some type of internal action to verify his suspicions. I'm not sure what all the grandstanding and media attention was all about.

I understand the meaning of the word illegal. Once again, I don't understand what an "illegal alien" looks like. Perhaps we should check the documentation of all aliens and have them wear arm bands.

By: Yoni on 7/15/10 at 12:33

The problem with 'verifying the legal status" of illegal aliens is that the illegals' documents are forged, identities are stolen. They have "paperwork showing a valid SS#", likely a birth certificate issued from, e.g., Puerto Rico (PR), driver's license, etc. All purchased at a reasonable price. Employers and other American citizens are dealing with arrogant criminals. PR has declared a "recall" on their birth certificates issued, as a US protectorate, because the volume of fake birth certificates purchased by Mexican, Central American and other Hispanic/Latino nationals has so flooded the market all PR birth certificates have become questionable & therefore no longer can be validated by island government officials. The issue is one of practicality; the sur names are so common/similar, e.g., Alvarado, Hernandez, that documents are easily forged/IDs stolen. Allegedly, the government is requiring any person with a birth certificate from PR to reapply. Wonder how they will accomplish that chore? So for the construction industry, as so many Mexican nationals are hired as faked US citizens or hired with purchased "green cards" how can any identities be "checked/validated"? The employer avoid the issue by stating, "he showed me valid IDs." As pay rates and quality of work fade into the sunset. One employer I know in CA had the issue surface through finding that 7 Mexican nationals were working under stolen SS#. The problem surfaced during research from outside the company showing 1 national with a questionable SS#. When the employer's HR completed special research through SS# Admin. verifications showed 7 Mexican nationals were discovered working @ this gentleman's company all using stolen IDs; they were all fired. One Mexican national worker is using a stolen SS# showing 22 other Mexican nationals using the same SS#; the original legal citizen SS# owner is a woman in Charlotte, NC whose credit is being trashed.

By: budlight on 7/15/10 at 2:15

In my opinion we should leave the site alone and let Contractors get the thing built.

Yeah, and heck. Who cares about legal Americans being UNEMPLOYED?

Also, Dragon those chicken houses "check" also and ICE catches lots of illegals plucking those feathers! I say do an unannounced check by ICE. You'll know instantly who is illegal (or has outstanding warrants) by the number of people who run for the hills. Simple solution.

By: FCMullins on 7/15/10 at 8:46

Well nonnahs, right is right and I believe wrong is still wrong!

The thing is IF the people that are illegal were legal, they wouldn't work for the same
low wages now would they? Don't you understand that so long as they are willing
to come in and work for so much less, the rest of us that might be inclined to do that kind of work doesn't stand a chance at having the jobs. All those kinds of companies that hire them are only interested in one thing and that's their bottom line. Until the federal govt makes it cost them way too much to hire illegals then they are going to keep doing it.
Maybe if it were your job that was being undercut and taken from you by someone who would do it for a lot less your perspective might be different.

I for one do not care how many immigrants come here to work so long as they do it the right way and that means legal!

By: slzy on 7/17/10 at 4:34

Will it ultimately take a wave of violence on the level of the civil war to overturn dred scott,to have immigration laws enforced?