The Civil Disobedience Participants Escalate for the Access to Care Act

ANNAPOLIS, MD — On Friday, healthcare advocates, uninsured Marylanders, immigrants, and allies arrived at Lawyers Mall for an escalation action for the Access to Care Act stalled in the Senate. The activists from immigrant and working family organization CASA stood proudly at the steps of the statehouse and held a banner with the message, “Health is a human right.” They highlighted the stories of Marylanders who have passed away or suffered severe health conditions — and would benefit from this bill. 

Passed with great support in the House, the Access to Care Act removes immigration status as an eligibility requirement in the process of purchasing a health insurance plan through Maryland’s healthcare marketplace. 

“My family thought we had escaped the worst of the pandemic, but it caught up to us last year: My dad Edgar was only 49 years old when he lost his life to COVID. My birthday is in December, and that’s the same month my dad got sick. I risk arrest for him and Marylanders like him who don’t have health insurance. I honor my dad with this sacrifice.”

“Due to my immigration status, I have been unable to buy into the health exchange to obtain a health insurance plan. Without regular health screenings, I fear “I will be a victim of cancer that was found and treated too late,” said CASA member Olga Blair, Nicaraguan Marylander who lives in Baltimore City.  

The activists remembered Santos Romero, a CASA Member who died from diabetes on the day she was supposed to testify in favor of the Access to Care Act in the House. Her diabetes was untreated since she did not have access to health insurance that would have helped her pay for insulin. A single mom, Santos fought until the end to provide a better life for her adopted daughter, traveling from Guatemala to the US for economic opportunity and advocating for policy change with CASA. The arrestees raised her name as they were taken by police. 


With over 122,000 lifetime Latino, immigrant, and working-class members across 46 US states, CASA is the foremost immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region and a national leader in supporting immigrant families and ensuring all individuals have the core support necessary for full participation in society. Now a national immigrant powerhouse, CASA creates change with its power-building model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. Visit us at  and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.