CASA Celebrates 30 Years of Achieving Justice for Immigrants

Posted March 2, 2015 /

More than 65,000 members strong, CASA updates its look as it prepares for thirty more years of fighting for immigrant families.

(Hyattsville, MD) – CASA de Maryland an organization created in 1985 in a church basement in Takoma Park, Maryland in response to the urgent needs of newly arrived Central American refugees, is today the largest grassroots organization serving the Washington, DC Metro Area and expanding into new states.  CASA has a growing team of over 100 staff members and over 65,000 members, working out of 8 office locations throughout the region tirelessly to serve the needs of the Latino and immigrant community.

Over the past 30 years, CASA’s accomplishments include: establishing and successfully operating five welcome centers throughout Maryland, opening 21,000 square-foot Multicultural Center in the heart of Langley Park to serve thousands of low-income immigrants every year, improving the English language skills of more than 20,000 English language learners, providing over 20,000 medical interpretations and 75,000 health interventions, achieving passage of the Maryland DREAM Act and leading a successful campaign to defend it against a referendum challenge, expanding driver’s license access for low-income immigrants in Maryland, assisting more than 3,000 youth in applying for deferred action under the federal DACA program, helping more than 2,200 people become U.S. citizens through a state-wide Citizenship Maryland program, launching a comprehensive place-based transformative investment strategy for Langley Park, expanding services to Virginia, and played a critical role at the national level in advocating for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and administrative relief for immigrant families.

“As the immigrant community has grown, so has CASA,” said Executive Director Gustavo Torres.  “Each and every day, I learn something new from our members that keeps me and our organization riveted to our core mission of making sure that our members can reach their greatest personal potential while achieving systemic justice for the entire community.”

CASA has ambitious plans for the future, including opening up a new school for English Language Learners in Langley Park, assisting 40,000 immigrants in applying for administrative relief under the new executive order, expanding its foothold in Virginia, and expanding its programs and impact in neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Delaware.

CASA could not have gotten to the place where it is today without the critical support of visionary partners and supporters who have invested in its work. Major funders over the history of the organization include: Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, Open Society Institute–Baltimore, Ford Foundation, Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Abell Foundation, Bank of America, Citi, and the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, among many many others.

To better prepare CASA for its next thirty years of achievement, the organization is also launching a new look and web-home that is simpler, easier to find, and makes sure that whether a member lives in Virginia or Maryland or any of the other states CASA members come from, they belong to one big family organization dedicated to justice and dignity for all communities.

The rebranding will include a new website, a new visual identity and slogan “We are CASA / Somos CASA”. Some of the new places that CASA will be found at are: Facebook as CASA, Twitter @Somos_CASA and our web