Hartsfield-Jackson Faces Accusations Of Undocumented Workers

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The group Jobs for Georgians said it visited the $1.6 billion Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal project after receiving complaints about undocumented workers and cash payments to laborers.

Federal and state laws mandate that contractors working on public projects run each worker through a program called "E-Verify", which documents the citizenship status of the applicant. Jobs for Georgians official John Ciancia said when members of the group visited the worksite under the guise of looking for work, they found sub-contractors willing to hire workers with only a picture ID. Ciancia said that's not typically enough information to be run through the E-Verify program.

WATCH: Channel 2 Investigates Accusations Of Undocumented Workers At Hartsfield-Jackson

Other contractors told Channel 2 Action News they had been told some sub-contractors bring in workers late at night to work on short-term projects and pay those workers in cash.

The so-called "worker misclassification" means taxes are not being taken out of the pay of many of the workers, placing a larger tax burden on those playing by the rules.

John Kennedy, a spokesman for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, said no one has lodged any formal complaints about undocumented workers at the site. The aviation authority encourages anyone with problems to come forward.

During a Channel 2 Action News investigation into the hiring practices of the airport terminal contractor, a supervisor with the masonry contractor, M + D Masonry, indicated to Channel 2's undercover job applicant that only a picture ID had been required to work on site, but that the company was changing its policy to require "legal paperwork."

WATCH: Channel 2 Uncovers Security Gap At Hartsfield-Jackson

The supervisor told the undercover applicant that if the company's changes went into effect now "he might lose half his work force."

Channel 2's undercover investigation at the work site also found no security on the site of the future International Terminal. The Jobs for Georgians group told Channel 2 it spent two hours wandering the site with no identification or badges. Channel 2's undercover reporter spent an hour at the work site with no one questioning or challenging him. Channel 2 then went in with a regular news camera and microphone and station employees, we wandered about the site for 10 minutes or more before finally being questioned.

Airport officials said the worksite is considered a construction zone, separate and separated from the secure area of the airport. However, a security consultant Channel 2 spoke with said security should start from construction.

Airport officials promised to secure the worksite.