Can Syrian Refugees Help Grow Baltimore?

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migrantSyrian refugees that are creating a “migrant crisis” in Europe could be a boon to Baltimore.

As close to four million refugees flee the Middle East country beset by Civil War, a Baltimore organization is reaching out to accept more families in need of a new home. As a commentator points out in Forbes, that could also help Baltimore City gain more population.

According to CBS Baltimore, the International Rescue Committee office in Baltimore has helped settled two dozen refugees. Amid Obama administration calls to resettle 10,000 refugees in America, the federally-funded office is likely to see more.

Scott Beyer points out in Forbes that Baltimore has been “proactive” in looking to attract refugees, and immigrants in general. In fact, it figured into Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s goal of growing the city by 10,000 families.

She brought several other city departments on board–for example, by getting public schools to teach Spanish-to-English classes, and discouraging the police from checking immigration status.  This made Baltimore a “sanctuary city” well before that term got mainstream traction.

The city’s immigrant population has grown by 25,000 in the last 14 years, he writes. People from Latin America Asia and African have made up the bulk of that number. With the city government’s position on the matter already established and an organization willing to help the migrants assimilate, the next wave could be from Syria.

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