County takes steps to comply with immigration law

By NICOLE LOGGINS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County sent out 2,000 documentation packets to vendors they hold contracts with throughout the state on Friday, March 2 to ensure they are in compliance with the Alabama immigration law.

The county requested the contracted vendors return all the information by March 15, said Butch Burbage, finance manager for Shelby County.

“The packet includes two affidavits they have to sign and get back to us,” he said.

Vendors include any business that has provided contract services for the county. From paving contractors to a commercial air conditioner company, each business is responsible for signing and notarizing the packet and sending it back to the county.

“We had to set a deadline,” Burbage said. “If we didn’t we would have probably not had that information returned.”

Burbage said he has no idea how many documents will be returned and the businesses that fail to return them will be red-flagged in the county system.

“After we pass the due date, we will flag them in our system and they will no longer get any payments from us,” he said. “We’ll deactivate their account with us and won’t pay them any longer.”

The county is required to seek compliance from outside contractors as part of the new Alabama immigration law passed in June of 2011.

“That law says if I don’t seek compliance from my contractors and I continue to pay them I’m subject to fines and penalties,” said Burbage.

“I can’t afford to do business with them if we don’t get them back. I’m just doing what the law tells me to do.”