Eliminate funding for Casa of Maryland

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Feb. 22 Gazette was brimming with quotes from the senior leaders of Casa of Maryland.

Casa Treasurer Andrew Kleine enlightened readers with the benefits of illegal immigrant workers and even offered Casa’s phone number to help match the illegal workers Casa harbors with Maryland citizens and businesses.

More ominous were The Gazette quotes by Gustavo Torres, leader of CASA. Concerned about the Maryland Minutemen taking pictures of local business hiring illegal immigrants at Casa’s multiple pickup centers (a non-violent, legal activity), Gustavo stated of the Minutemen, ‘‘We are going to picket their houses, and the schools of their kids, and go to their work.” This sounds more like statements from violent street gangs than the head of a non-profit, tax-exempt, taxpayer supported organization.

Torres’ March 8 apology had a hollow ring to it.

They should load up their Casa vehicles (taxpayer subsidized) with their illegal immigrant workers, dressed in their standard issue yellow protest shirts (taxpayer subsidized), and drive to a local high school of their choice. Don’t forget to pick up County Executive Doug Duncan, County Councilman Tom Perez and the rest of the council. Our high school students need a lesson in civics. Explain to the student body why school construction is years behind, why overcrowded classes and portables are the norm, why teachers, supplies and sports equipment are in short supply, yet the county executive and council are always flush with cash for Casa of Maryland.

Next stop, our neighborhoods. Sorry for all the traffic on the roads; no funds for road or Metro improvements, but not to worry as the county will always have funds for another Casa illegal worker pick up site. Please explain to our neighbors and friends where their tax dollars and charitable contributions made at church and synagogue are going. Explain that rising crime and gang violence, overcrowded schools, overtaxed hospitals and social service programs have nothing to do with illegal immigrants.

Last stop for the Casa protesters will be the Federal Triangle offices in D.C. where many county citizens work for the federal government. Don’t forget to pick up Congressmen Al Wynn and Chris Van Hollan, our elected officials who just can’t seem to allow themselves to support enforcement of our immigration laws. Please explain to federal workers where their United Way charitable contributions and tax dollars are going, and how America is the land of opportunity even for law-breaking illegal immigrants, their support groups and pandering politicians.

The ride is over. It’s time for Casa’s senior management to resign in disgrace, and for Duncan and the County Council to end all funding and contracts for Casa. People should call their county, state and federal elected officials and demand that they support tougher enforcement of immigration laws and insist on no amnesty or guest worker programs for illegal immigrants.

Brad Botwin, Derwood