Jim Simpson- The driving force behind the DREAM Act was CASA de Maryland, an increasingly vocal advocate for Maryland’s illegals. The group’s aggressive tactics and questionable dealings helped provoke the outrage that drove the DREAM Act petition to overwhelming victory. CASA’s defeat, however, did not deter them. They recruited longtime Democratic National Committee chief lawyer, Joseph E. Sandler, an attorney who specializes in harassing conservatives with frivolous litigation threats. They have now sued Maryland’s Election Commission to overturn the petition.
CASA receives about 40 percent of its funding from Maryland state and local governments—almost $5 million of taxpayer dollars in 2010—and spends most of it lobbying for illegal immigrant perks and exceptions. Their recent lawsuit is a blatant attempt to derail the democratic process itself. So it is a fair question to ask: what is CASA de Maryland?
CASA de Maryland was founded by a young activist named Bette “Rainbow” Hoover. CASA’s name is a metaphor for the organization’s duplicitous nature. CASA means “house” or “home” in Spanish; however, “CASA” is actually an acronym for Central American Solidarity Association. It is more in keeping with the designs and philosophies of other Central American solidarity organizations formed at the time, like the communist-founded Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES).
It was incorporated on February 28, 1985, but Hoover said it actually began operating in 1983, based out of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church in Takoma Park, Maryland. From its modest beginnings, CASA has grown into a multi-million dollar operation, with influence reaching to the Obama White House. It is headquartered in the newly-renovated (with $10 million in taxpayer dollars), 18,000 square foot, 28-room, Langley Park Mansion, right up the street from Takoma Park. It boasts a community center and five day-labor centers spread over a 35-mile radius from the Washington, D.C. metro area to Baltimore. Recently, CASA created a political-action arm, “CASA in Action,” based at Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, bringing CASA full circle back to where it all began.
Hoover described CASA’s early days: “We just had to do something. People were coming here who really needed help…” She said that virtually all were illegals fleeing El Salvador’s civil war. Hoover added that they decided early on to help all comers, including communist guerillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).
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