During public health crisis, working families struggle with not just safeguarding their health but also their homes

May 1, 2020, MD, VA, PA – CASA, the Mid-Atlantic’s largest immigrant and working families membership organization, launched its #CancelTheRent campaign by calling on the governors of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania to cancel rent and debt accumulation by landlords and extend and enforce the moratorium on evictions for one year.
“My biggest worry is that the landlord will come to throw out the few things that I have because of my inability to pay,” said David Perez, a CASA Member. “When Governor Hogan lifts the eviction freeze, we will all need to pay our rent, but I don’t see a solution on how to pay that back money. Then, what will happen to my family?”
David Perez is a single father of a 14-year-old daughter who was once self-employed in Baltimore County, Maryland. Now, with businesses closed to keep the coronavirus from spreading, he and many immigrant workers like him have no income.
“Immigrant workers face a crisis that has a lasting health and economic impact in the Latino community,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA Executive Director. “Housing insecurity during and immediately following COVID-19 tops the list of concerns for immigrant and working families. Tenants are already being threatened with eviction, and, with today being the first of the month, people are panicked.”

Community members along with various allied organizations and elected officials will join CASA on Friday, May 1, 2020, for three kickoff town hall meetings in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to listen to the working families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and demand the governors of these states to cancel the rent.

“When the moratoriums on evictions are lifted, it is unlikely that tenants will have access to enough resources to pay several months of rent all at once, and mass evictions could ensue,” warned Torres.

#CancelTheRent Town Hall Kickoff

Marylanders #CancelTheRent Town Hall

WHO: CASA, Progressive Maryland, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Delegate Jheanelle K. Wilkins (D-20), Delegate Stephanie M. Smith (D-45), Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, Mount Rainier Councilmember Celina Benitez and community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHEN: Friday, May 1st @ 12:30 – 2:00 pm

WHERE: Zoom call

WHAT: Town hall to hear personal stories from affected community members and to demand that Governor Hogan to cancel the rent and take all steps possible to protect working class tenants and homeowners. This event comes after 50 Maryland legislators issued the same call to the governor, and some legislators introduce rent freeze bills.

Pennsylvania #OurMayDayCall People’s Town Hall

WHO: CASA, One PA, Make the Road PA, and community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2020 @ 6:00 – 7:00 pm

WHERE: Zoom call RSVP here

WHAT: People’s town hall with a May Day call to protect workers in Pennsylvania. The #OurMayDayCall seeks that #EssentialAndExcluded immigrant and undocumented workers get the resources and protections they deserve.

Virginia #CancelTheRent Listening Session with Legislators and Governor’s Office

WHO: CASA community leaders and affected members with local officials, members of the Governor’s office, Delegate Glenn Davis (District 84), Maribel Castañeda (Governor Northam’s office)

WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2020 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

WHERE: Zoom call

WHAT: This listening session features immigrant workers affected by the crisis speaking directly with their elected officials, illustrating the dire situation that being undocumented and/or the unemployed face in Virginia. Community members on and off the call will be invited to sign an emergency petition to Governor Northam with the request.


With over 100,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. CASA organizes with and litigates on behalf of low-wage immigrants. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall