MALDEF'S "Latino State of the State" Signals Return of National Latino Organization to Full-Time Advocacy in Sacramento

Leading Latino Legal Civil Rights Organization Hosts Inaugural California Event, Outlining 2011 Public Policy Priorities and Legal Challenges for Latinos in California

On March 23, MALDEF, the nation's leading legal civil rights organization, hosted the inaugural "Latino State of the State: The 1st Annual Roundtable on Law, Policy and Civil Rights in California." The event served as the first major convening of MALDEF's Sacramento Policy Office since it reopened in 2010.

Held at the Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, the "Latino State of the State" featured a cross-section of top national experts and leaders on a range of issues facing the Latino community in 2011, including state implementation of health care reform and special health-related topics, K-12 education and higher education, immigrant rights, and labor rights.

Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "In 2011, California has a historic opportunity to lead the entire nation by shining example through acting to further ensure the civil and human rights of all Californians and, by doing so, to guarantee future prosperity for this great state."

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Thomas A. Saenz Argues Before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Behalf of Day Laborers in Redondo Beach

On March 21, Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of day laborers in the Redondo Beach area. The case, Comité de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, California, was heard before an 11-judge, special en banc proceeding, called after a divided three-judge panel last June upheld the City’s anti-day laborer ordinance.

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Watch Video: Argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

MALDEF Continues to Oppose Arizona's SB1070 in Federal Court

In addition to other violations of the Constitution, SB 1070 violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all members of society the right to free expression – including solicitation speech. Specifically, Sections 13-2928 (A) and (B) of Arizona’s SB 1070 employ content-based restrictions on the rights of day laborers and employers. The provisions impose statewide criminal liability on motorists and individuals based on the individuals’ employment solicitation speech. We are still waiting the court's decision on the motion for preliminary injunction.

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Holland & Knight hosts MALDEF in Miami

Earlier this month, the well-respected law firm of Holland & Knight hosted a reception in honor of Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel in Miami. More than 50 guests attended the reception, including Marcelyn Cox, Assistant Dean of University of Miami School of Law, and David Adams, editor of PODER magazine. The event featured welcome remarks by Mexican singer José José. "We are proud to partner with MALDEF for one of their first events in Miami and celebrate the crucial work of Mr. Saenz." said Holland & Knight Partner Adolfo Jimenez. "MALDEF's mission to ensure access to justice for the Latino community reminds us all why we became lawyers in the first place."

The Fight Continues: Combating SB 1070 and Similar Legislation

On April 2, Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, and Eva Longoria, actress, activist and MALDEF Board Member, came together to host a briefing and discussion for attendees at the 2011 Conference for the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS). The briefing, entitled "U.S. Birthright Citizenship, Arizona's SB1070 and similar Anti-Immigrant State Laws" provided an opportunity for Thomas Saenz and Eva Longoria to lead a discussion on the recent assaults on the American Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment and on other anti-immigrant laws and policies threatening Latino communities.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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