Activists gather to advocate for state action on immigrant rights


WHAT: Noche del Inmigrante – Immigrant Lobby Night: A night to raise the voices of immigrants who are resisting the racist attacks from the federal government.

WHO: CASA and CASA in Action leaders, allies, and local residents

WHEN: Monday, January 27th, 2020 from 5:30 p.m

WHERE: Activists gather at 5:30 pm at Bladen Street and College Ave. in Annapolis to go into the buildings for massive lobby meetings.


ANNAPOLIS, MD – On January 27th, CASA and CASA in Action, allies, and Maryland residents will take action to voice their support for critical immigration-related bills up for debate in this year’s state government session. These include passing the Maryland Trust Act, data privacy protections, and more.


“The state of Maryland must finally take a stand to protect immigrants against the attacks of the federal government,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA Executive Director. “On Monday, our members and allies will use their voices to push for change in our state legislature. It is time for Maryland to stand up for the rights of the immigrants, who contribute so much to our community.”


List of Priorities:

Passage of the Maryland Trust Act: The Trust Act is a package of legislation that would increase the safety of Marylanders by improving community relationships with law enforcement and other state entities through limiting the cooperation of the state with national efforts to enforce federal immigration laws. This would allow vulnerable immigrants to be more willing to report crimes, use available health and social services for their families, and enroll their children in school. We believe that the 2020 legislation session offers a unique opportunity for this legislation to pass.


Overriding the veto of the Maryland Dream Act Expansion bill: This bill would provide tuition equity for undocumented students in Maryland by allowing students to go directly to a four-year institution if they qualify for admittance and eliminating onerous tax proof requirements. Although this bill was passed in the 2019 session, it was vetoed by Governor Hogan. CASA considers the overriding of this veto one of our top priorities, as we recognize education as the highest level of importance for our community.


Protection of Immigrants’ Privacy: As technology continues to become more advanced, it is critical that we protect immigrants from the potential misuses of sensitive data. We believe that legislation must be enacted this session that will address how different agencies in Maryland use and share software and sensitive data. We support legislation that would limit or outlaw the use of facial recognition software being used to target immigrant populations and increase the oversight of data sharing by state agencies with any external organization or entity.


Improvement of Kirwan Commission Recommendations: CASA is proud to support the passage of the full Kirwan Commission bill that will more equitably disperse state revenues to school systems. However, we believe that more must be done to ensure that immigrant students are fully considered in these recommendations. Language must be included in the final bill to address key areas that would support our students, including English language learning, community schools, teacher preparation, college and career readiness, and early childhood education.


Halt Development of Private Prisons in Maryland: It has come to our attention that ICE is planning to create a new detention facility in Maryland. This facility, if built, would be detrimental to our communities leading to the increased detention of Marylanders, and a long list of negative impacts on immigrant families. It is of the utmost urgency that this facility is not built in our state and that legislation is passed to significantly curtail the ability of ICE to construct a new facility.