• IRLI Staff

IRLI Investigation Finds CASA de Maryland Violating Non-Profit Laws against Political Advocacy

The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) recently completed a multi-year investigation of CASA deMaryland, an illegal alien advocacy organization operating in DC and Maryland. IRLI has determined that the organization has egregiously violated its tax exempt status by engaging in electioneering, political and campaign activities. IRLI has filed a complaint with the IRS and Maryland Comptroller, seeking to expose CASA’s illegal activities and strip the organization of its 501c3 tax exempt status.

501c3 non-profit organizations such as churches, charities, and educational organizations are prohibited from participating in activities that promote a candidate or political party. Yet for nearly ten years, CASA has continuously functioned as a political action organization.

IRLI has collected evidence documenting CASA’s electioneering on behalf of elected officials in Maryland who are members of the Democratic Party. In return for campaign support, CASA has obtained substantial favorable influence on state legislation from Democratic elected officials in Maryland, including sponsorship and votes for legislation, appropriations to fund ongoing CASA operations, capital accumulation, and public benefits for unqualified aliens that CASA recruits as members and political workers.

IRLI’s complaint includes many documented instances of electioneering and misuse of taxpayer dollars:

  • CASA lied to the IRS on its FY 2008 IRS Form 990 regarding the extent of its electioneering activity during the November 2008general elections, stating that it did not “engage in direct or indirect political campaign activities on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office.” However, as alleged in the IRS complaint, it is documented that CASA hired aliens to distribute partisan campaign material at polling sites on November 4, 2008.

  • CASA states in its 2004 IRS Form 990 that it made donations to the Maryland Latino Coalition for Justice (MLCJ), a sister political advocacy group set up by CASA Executive Director Gustavo Torres. IRS regulations forbid non-profits from donating their tax-exempt money to political advocacy groups.

  • CASA de Maryland is listed as endorsing Democratic Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot – one of the state officials charged with regulating non-profit organizations.

  • CASA has used taxpayer money to publish a Bilingual Voter Guide for the Prince George’s CountyDistrict 2 County Council Race and to distribute manuals on how illegal aliens can avoid detection from law enforcement officers.

  • CASA uses taxpayer-funded grants to operate multiple day-labor centers in Maryland that shelter and assist illegal aliens in finding work with unscrupulous employers who do not follow federal laws that prohibit the employment of illegal aliens.

“IRLI filed the tax complaint to bring attention to CASA de Maryland‘s well-documented history of engaging in activities that violate the laws governing 501(c)(3) charitable organizations,” said Monique A. Miles, the IRLI staff attorney who worked on the complaint. “IRLI believes that both the IRS and Maryland should revoke CASA’s tax-exempt status due to the egregious nature of the violations. A single instance of electioneering is enough for a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to lose its tax-exempt status. CASA has gone above and beyond that threshold.”

IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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