Washington, D.C. – At one of CASA’s biggest membership meetings, immigrant activists heard Senators describe their commitment to the inclusion of immigrant families as a part of budget reconciliation.  The town hall comes at a pivotal moment in the march for permanent relief for DACA and TPS holders and the essential workers who have kept us alive during the pandemic. 

Participants on the call were from more than 20 different countries spanning from Asia to Africa to Latin America, calling in from more than 40 different states with deep representation from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Those attendees included María del Carmen Campuzano Arquello, a CASA member from California. She and her husband are Mexican immigrants and essential workers that have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic.

“Hearing María del Carmen’s story is a powerful reminder that too many immigrants across the country are left to struggle against the arbitrary and unfair rules of our current immigration system,” said Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA). “I’m proud to stand with the bipartisan majorities across the country that support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. It’s time for Congress to act. Democrats need to deliver the stability and security that immigrant families deserve. Using the budget reconciliation process to provide this relief just makes sense and I’ll keep fighting to get this done.” 

Included on the call were a vast representation of immigrants from across the country: DACA and TPS holders, essential workers, and asylum seekers. Naturalized immigrants who voted proudly for the first time in 2020 and the US citizen children of undocumented parents who will be 18 in time to vote in 2022.

“Many TPS recipients came to our country fleeing violence and hardship and have since built their lives here, contributing to our economy and enriching our communities. They are our neighbors, local business owners, friends, and frontline workers, and I’m committed to providing them with security and certainty through a pathway to citizenship.  That’s why I introduced the SECURE Act, and why I’m proud to announce that immigration provisions are included in the budget framework my colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee, like Senator Padilla and I, have put together. We’ll be working quickly to get this done – we need a pathway to citizenship for these essential members of our society,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, (D-MD).

Senators also heard the story of Veronica Nwafor, a Nigerian immigrant and member of CASA. Her story is a familiar one; coming to the United States to seek refuge and hope for a better life but met with scrutiny and the constant struggle to survive. 

CASA member Veronica Nwafor said, “Many of us on this call are asylum seekers who recently arrived and lived through horrible situations when we came to the US. Some of us almost died in detention and many others were returned to their countries without a chance to prove their cases. We need to move quickly to provide permanent status to TPS and DACA holders and essential workers, without forgetting everyone else.”

“My community has come out time and time again to support politicians who commit to resolving the immigration crisis. With leaders like Senators Padilla and Van Hollen, we are confident that this time, Democrats and the President will really deliver,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA.


With over 115,000 members across the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.