Know Your Rights
Community Legal Education
As part of its comprehensive approach to serving the legal-related needs of the low-income immigrant community, CASA performs outreach to inform low-wage workers, domestic workers and tenants about their rights. These trilingual (English, Spanish, and French) “know your rights” trainings are held at strategic locations throughout Maryland including workers’ centers, street corners where workers gather, tenant association meetings, community centers and other places where immigrant community members gather. CASA’s “know your rights” trainings utilize popular education materials, developed in-house, to inform community members of their rights as workers and tenants, as well as their rights if they are involved in an immigration raid. CASA has also designed education materials specifically for domestic workers and victims of human trafficking and is leading a raid response community education campaign aimed at educating affected communities about their rights and what to do if they are detained. More detail on CASA’s raid response campaign can be found below.
Providing both the urgent and intense assistance requested by community members immediately following a raid, as well as the longer-term and more complex assistance with issues that surface over time requires a substantial investment of time and resources. CASA is one of few organizations in the DC region with the legal expertise to respond to the civil rights violations that have occurred in recent immigration raids, such as CASA’s current case against ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) for racial discrimination during a January 2007 raid. As the “go-to” organization for immigrants in Maryland, CASA is committed to providing a comprehensive raid response program, which has been recognized by its national allies as a “best practices” model to respond to immigration raids. The raid response program includes the following components: Community education materials including the following
- Educational Materials: Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids, March 2007 (A Collaboration of CASA of Maryland, Inc., Detention Watch Network, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild)
- Educational Materials: How do we find them in MD, DC and VA? (Locating a detained person in the Greater Capital Region) A Collaboration of CASA of Maryland, Inc., Detention Watch Network, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild)
- Public awareness and media coverage, including educating the broader public about immigration raids and their impact on families and communities. CASA is committed to garnering media coverage that puts a human face on the raids and highlights the use of raids as a result of the failure of comprehensive immigration reform.
- Legal assistance and counseling for victims of raids and their families, including visiting community members in detention centers, securing pro-bono legal representation, and assisting families in obtaining bond funds.
- Impact litigation and advocacy and the local, state and federal levels, including challenging practices used in raids and pressuring local officials to put an end to raids in their communities.
- Establishment and participation in a statewide network of service providers, advocates, legal services providers, faith, and labor groups to ensure that groups are able to respond to immigration raids as they happen, by providing the basic legal, humanitarian, and social services necessary for detainees and their families. CASA staffs the Statewide Coordination Committee which is divided into four teams according to geographic area: Metro Maryland, Frederick and North Maryland, Eastern Shore, and Baltimore and Anne Arundel.