Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed this week established the Welcoming Atlanta Working Group. The 21-person committee is tasked with developing ways to help immigrants integrate into the Atlanta community.
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Monica Fuentes, who is heading the mayor’s initiative, says several factors led to the Reed’s decision.
“Metro Atlanta is actually the second-fastest growing foreign-born population in the United States right now,” she says. “So, the demographics are changing. People are here, people want to go to work, people want to go to school.”
The group wants to help make employment and education more accessible for immigrants. To start, Fuentes says over the next few weeks, the group will break into subcommittees to focus on individual issues.
Latin American Association President Jeffrey Tapia and immigration attorney Charles Kuck will serve as co-chairs. Kuck says some of the group’s proposals may cost taxpayers.
“The mayor said he’s committed to spending what’s necessary to carry out the proposals that make the most sense to the city of Atlanta,” Kuck says. “At the end of the day, nothing is free in life.”
The group will present recommendations to the mayor in August.