Encouraging fear and hatred of immigrants goes against everything Strong City Baltimore stands for. Our mission is building and strengthening neighborhoods and people in Baltimore. Immigrants make our nation and our city stronger. Refugees are among the world’s most vulnerable populations; refusing to help them when we can is heartless. Facts and history demonstrate that we have little to fear from newcomers to our shores, and a great deal to be gained from their presence here.
This issue is personal for us. At Strong City’s Adult Learning Center, we are blessed to welcome immigrants from many lands who have sought our help leaning English and achieving their dreams. The fact is, only a few generations separate most of us from a wrenching farewell to an ancestral homeland: sometimes bound in chains, sometimes fleeing danger, sometimes with no money but full of hope for a new life.
For three hundred years, Baltimore has been at the center of the U.S. immigration story. Sometimes called “the other Ellis Island,” Baltimore in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was the second-leading port of entry to the U.S. Over the decades, 1.2 million Europeans disembarked near Fort McHenry, and about 15 percent of them settled here. Germans and Irish were the largest groups, but Baltimore also welcomed thousands of Italians, Lithuanians, Poles, Czechs, Greeks, and Jews from across Europe – and later on, Koreans, Africans, Mexicans, and Salvadorans.
No matter your race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or immigration status, Strong City Baltimore welcomes you. We stand with and support every immigrant, refugee, and asylum seeker trying to make a better life in Baltimore, and we reject all efforts to whip up fear of newcomers or turn vulnerable people into scapegoats for our problems. This nation, and this city, are better than that.