An issue of national importance hit home in Silver Spring last weekend as several anti-illegal immigration groups rallied outside an immigrant-rights advocacy group's headquarters on University Boulevard. Flags were waved and fingers were wagged on both sides of the line Saturday in front of the Casa of Maryland worker's center as members of the Langley Park-based immigrant-rights group squared off with members of Rockville's Help Save Maryland. Both groups struggled to exercise their first-amendment rights against a backdrop of American flags, bullhorns and the flashing lights of several police cruisers parked along the street to uphold the amendment's wording: the right of the people to "peaceably assemble."
Up to 30 anti-illegal immigration protestors picketed outside Casa's center while nearly as many Casa volunteers helped clean the grounds inside the fence. Whitney Riley, of Baltimore, joined the Help Save Maryland protest as a way to voice her support for what she called "the rule of law" regarding immigration.
"We want [Casa] to stop funding illegal aliens with taxpayer money," she said. "They have pamphlets that show how to circumvent the law; ... in the end we need to be a nation that stands on the rule of law. Illegal immigration is illegal, period."
Casa supporter and Takoma Park resident David Robinson had a different view on the nonprofit's mission from the other side of the fence Saturday. SOURCE: Gazette. PICTURE: Rachel Fus/The Gazette: Kim Propeack, 43, advocacy and organizing director of Casa of Maryland, and Mike Reininger, 54, of Baltimore discuss the laws on sidewalk usage in front of the Casa of Maryland in Silver Spring on May 22.