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Immigration Advocates Push Forward Amid Arizona Debate

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By Peter Granitz

A Maryland advocacy group is turning twenty-five. To celebrate, it’s moving its operations to an historic building in Langley Park.

Casa De Maryland is the state’s largest group working to help immigrants. It’s calling its new headquarters a multi-cultural center - a place where people can take English and financial literacy classes, and look for work.

That sits well with Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). He says the debate has gotten more hostile since Arizona passed a controversial immigration bill, and that’s true in Maryland too. And, he says, it’s eclipsing work done by groups such as Casa.

"As far as legal status is concerned, Casa de Maryland is neutral on that," he says. "It’s not their role. Their role is to help the immigrant community. And it’s one that I think carries on the best traditions of our country."

Cardin says he’d like to see Congress tackle an immigration overhaul this year, but with six months left, that’s looking less likely.

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