By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City steps up the effort to attract 10,000 new families to the city with a plan to make Charm City more appealing to immigrants.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports the recommendations make no distinction between documented and undocumented residents.

Helping the foreign-born feel at home is a priority for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

“We have space for more families in Baltimore,” she said.

The mayor is promoting National Welcoming Week and in a Youtube video, emphasizes the contributions immigrants make to the city. At the same time, she released a New Americans Task Force report on the role of immigrants in growing Baltimore.

“By recognizing the contributions of all who have worked to build this city, we will make our community even more welcoming,” she said.

The mayor’s New Americans Task Force calls for workforce improvements, including jobs for youth and partnership with unions, help with small business startups, provide counseling for housing and build cooperation with police and other safety services.

“You look around at other cities around the country that are thriving, they are doing it because they are diverse and welcoming to immigrants. We can have that here in Baltimore,” she said.

The mayor’s video offers testimony to that.

“It has become like a big family. Now I can say I know a lot of people. Now I can say I have a big family here. Baltimore’s our home,” said Yesenia Mejia.

“And when we have challenges, when we have cultural differences or cultural collisions, what we see is the community coming together to try to work it out,” Rawlings-Blake said.

The task force recommendations are not binding and there’s little information on how some of the ideas would be put into action.

According to US Census figures, more than 45,000 Baltimore residents are foreign-born.

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