Ben Jealous Calls for Higher Wages and Health Care Access in Meeting with African Immigrant Workers
LANGLEY PARK, MD. (THURSDAY, APRIL 12, 2018) – Former National President & CEO of NAACP Ben Jealous joined CASA in Action President Gustavo Torres and 30 African immigrants to discuss the need for a $15 minimum wage and universal access to health care in Maryland, at a community event at the CASA Prince George’s Workers Center.
CASA member Kossy Beckoye from Mauritania shared his personal story with Jealous, proudly stating that for the first time he owns a car so he can get to work on his own. In the past, he took odd jobs some of which paid as little as $5 per hour.
“I would like to see a better salary for working people so I can support my mom, dad, sister and pay my bills,” said Beckoye to the group. “Good paying jobs are hard to find for immigrants. Please, we need help.”
Alongside Jealous, CASA in Action has long advocated for fair wages to all workers as well as universal health care, regardless of immigrant status.
“Kossy’s dreams are similar to the dreams of Marylanders across the state, who simply want to fix the big issues facing our families – to be treated fairly and paid justly,” Jealous said. “We must all recognize that immigrants are here as the newest Americans, in keeping with the tradition of all those who came before.”
African immigrants are 23 percent of the population of Prince George’s County. The 30 workers that attended the community event take English-language courses at CASA throughout the week. The CASA Prince George’s Workers Center also offers vocational training courses and connects them with employers.
“In the heart of the immigrant community lies the strength of our country; when we thrive, our country soars,” said Torres. “With Jealous as governor, we will have an advocate in Annapolis that fights for legislation that offers what hardworking people like Kossy deserve.”
CASA in Action has endorsed Jealous for his leadership on immigration issues, $15 minimum wage, and help for working families.
With nearly 100,000 lifetime members, CASA in Action is the largest electoral organization fighting for immigrant rights in the Mid-Atlantic region.