CASA de Maryland
Gustavo Torres has worked with the nonprofit CASA de Maryland for 30 years to help support U.S. immigrants with human services, community organizing and advocacy.
As the executive director of CASA and the president of CASA’s sister organization, CASA in Action, Torres has worked to win immigrants driving privileges in Maryland, as well as drivers’ privacy, which seals every driving and motor vehicle record in the state unless personally requested.
Additionally, Torres led CASA as it won in-state tuition for DACA recipients in Maryland through the DREAM Act.
Torres first joined the CASA staff as a community organizer in the 1990s after leaving Colombia because of political and economic unrest. In 1994, Torres was named executive director of CASA, and under his leadership the organization has grown to a staff of nearly 150 and membership across multiple mid-Atlantic states totaling 97,000.
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, which exacerbated many issues faced by immigrant communities across the country, CASA worked to provide aid and advocate for relief. Torres was the front of one of those initiatives, working to pass housing protections for tenants in Montgomery County.
Torres has also served on transition teams for local and state governmental leadership and is recognized nationally and internationally for his leadership in the immigrant rights movement.