This message was sent to our Friends of CASA via email on February 4, 2021. Stay connected and up to date on the work CASA is doing to serve the immigrant community — join in here

Stories from the Struggle: Paulina & Sonia


Paulina and her daughter Sonia traveled from Chester County, PA to Washington, D.C. yesterday to join a hundred other immigrant families and activists in Freedom Plaza. We gathered to remind the Biden Administration and Congress that all immigrant families are essential and deserve freedom, dignity, and respect.

I arrived like all immigrants who are parents, who arrive with dreams and goals to create a better future for our families,” shared Paulina yesterday. “My biggest fear as a mother is that more families are going through this same situation that is causing trauma to our children, just for seeking a better life for our loved ones.”

Paulina and Sonia shared their story of how they came to the U.S. from Mexico leaving behind an abusive father. In Pennsylvania, Paulina works in the agriculture industry, a job we have come to understand as essential work. Paulina works from five in the morning until eight at night to be able to support her children. One morning right before her daughters left for school, ICE agents came into their house looking for a person who had lived in the home previously. This disorienting event left Paulina and her family terrified. At the time, Paulina’s daughters were young and did not understand the difference between legal status and undocumented.

Paulina and her family fight on through the trauma of leaving an abusive past, having their home broken into, and surviving during a pandemic with no relief. Joining in with other immigrant families, Paulina and Sonia gathered in Freedom Plaza yesterday to emphasize that immigrant families are essential and demand that Congress:



  1. Push for an expedited citizenship path for essential workers and their families, and all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
  2. End family detention. Immediately empty and shut down all family prisons and immediately stop expulsions and deportations of families. Release families to loved ones or sponsors in the United States.
  3. Reunite families separated by deportation and detention policies under the past administration, including the right to return.

Yesterday we were joined by other activist groups such as Shut Down Berks Coalition, NAKASEC, Make the Road PA and others. Every Wednesday, for the first 100 days of the Biden Administration CASA will be hosting actions to push the administration and Congress to act swiftly on immigration reform and ensure a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants. If you can’t join in person, take action by calling your member of Congress to pass legislation that would include a path to citizenship for immigrants currently in the U.S. 


Next week, we will be focusing on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the urgent need for a TPS designation for Cameroonians. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see updates on the action and learn more. Join us at a Wednesday event or call Congress to demand a path to citizenship for all immigrants. These next 100 days may be the moment where we can win concrete immigration reform for our communities.