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Click to watch this AJ+ feature where CASA members share their stories as they continue fighting for justice.

“They don’t care about us, so enough is enough. We are tired of this, that’s why we are going to continue our struggle. We will not stay silent.”

That’s the message that CASA member and community leader Maria Lara shares in this short documentary produced by AJ+.

Maria and her neighbors are not alone. Like many immigrant families, Maria was hit hard by the the pandemic and excluded from receiving COVID related financial support because of her status. So for months now, Maria’s family and hundreds of other working-class and immigrant families have been engaged in a rent strike, demanding the support they deserve.

The pandemic brought a whole new layer in the ongoing fight for housing justice. It forced many families like Maria’s to choose between paying for their family’s basic needs or paying into a landlords profits. But CASA members fought back.

Throughout the pandemic CASA members across our footprint have been advocating for immigrant-inclusive relief at the local and state level. And while mutual aid and the moratorium on evictions have helped, neither solve the larger issue of landlords charging exorbitant rent while purposefully neglecting the deteriorating buildings they are responsible for maintaining.

A rent strike is one of the most dangerous acts of resistance for any renter, but especially for immigrant families. To have to risk even the roof over your children’s heads to get even basic justice is a choice none should have to face, and the courage shown by Maria and her neighbors is an inspiration to us all.