I cannot believe my time at CASA has come to an end. Words cannot express how attached I have become to the work and people at CASA. I have truly found a home at this institution and know I will be back to visit and volunteer. The bonds I have developed with the lawyers, other interns, and all of CASA staff are remarkable. I have found new role models and have been motivated more than ever.
The last few weeks at CASA have been full of constant pressure on Congress. As Congress approached their recess, CASA staff made sure to make one last push. One final protest was held in front of the House of Representatives to express our passion and concern for immigration reform. Gustavo Torres, CASA’s president, along with other pro-immigrant activists head down to DC to perform civil disobedience.
Leaders gathered to block the road in hopes to prove the importance of an immigration reform. It is amazing to think that kids my age have dedicated their time and future to this cause. A girl a year younger than me was arrested at this protest, and it was not her first time being arrested while making her voice heard. I am both impressed and inspired by her. The protest was covered by several media sources such as the New York Times, CBS DC, Fox Detroit, WTOP DC, CNS News, Fox Chicago, ABC News, Univsión, and so forth. I am proud to say that my boss took a leadership role in this action.
The following week, the legal interns spent time door knocking the offices of Congress members. We provided Congressmen/Congresswomen and/or their immigration staff with information on how immigration reform would benefit their specific hometown. We put together packets addressing their hometown statistics and included information on pro-immigration events that would be held in their state during Congress’ recess. It was a truly a great experience to know that I was directly advocating for immigrant rights.
Lastly, the Legal Department of CASA was contacted by NPR’s Robert Siegal to perform a section on undocumented immigrants on his “All Things Considered” program. The piece can be heard here. Having Robert Siegal come to CASA was very exciting. I am happy to know immigrant issues are being discussed. These past ten weeks have flown by and I will truly miss CASA. I am very grateful to have been exposed to different aspects of both civil rights and the law.