Immigrants are welcome in Atlanta. That’s the message Mayor Kasim Reed sent Wednesday when he announced the recommendations of the Welcoming Atlanta Working Group he appointed in April.
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Standing in front of the Center for Civil and Human Rights downtown, Mayor Reed said the group submitted 20 recommendations to help immigrants integrate.
“Some of the specific recommendations include establishing an office of multicultural affairs; expanding cultural competency training for our city employees; creating a multicultural liaison unit within the Atlanta Police Department; and today I’m happy to formally announce that the working group will be my official Welcoming Atlanta advisory committee,” Reed said.
Reed said the city will benefit economically and culturally by embracing immigrants.
Jeffrey Tapia, of the Latin American Association, and Atlanta immigration attorney Charles Kuck co-chaired the working group. Kuck said the recommendations are a stark contrast to House Bill 87, Georgia’s tough immigration law passed in 2011.
“This is the city of Atlanta’s opportunity to tell the legislature of the state of Georgia, ‘You did it wrong two years ago; don’t do it again,’” Kuck said. “We’re here to re-open those stories, re-open those arms and say, ‘Georgia is a welcoming place, and we’re starting right here in the city that’s too busy to hate.’”
Reed said he’ll implement the recommendations right away.