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Immigrant task force hosts public meeting Sunday

Charlotte’s new Immigrant Integration Task Force is hosting the first of three planned public hearings Sunday.

The event is set to run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Midwood International & Cultural Center, 1817 Central Ave., Charlotte.

The hearing is aimed at getting public input on city efforts to create new policies and practices that are more welcoming of immigrants and businesses created by immigrants.

In addition to the three sessions, the task force is asking community groups and immigrant-support agencies around the city to host smaller public meetings to gather more feedback.

Organizers hope to discuss issues ranging from transportation to how to better support small businesses, in order to better understand the needs of Charlotte’s immigrants.

The City Council voted in November to create the task force, which includes immigrant advocates, economists, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and police departments, and representatives of local industry.

Task force members are expected to take their findings and create recommendations for the City Council to consider early next year for adoption.

The task force has been facing increased pressure from immigrant groups in recent weeks to expand its mission to include promoting comprehensive immigration reform. However, task force leaders note the group has no control over federal immigration laws.

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