Latino State of the Union, Education Equity and Excellence Commission, Redistricting, Oppose Anit-Immigration Laws
LATINO STATE OF THE UNION
The 2011 Latino State of the Union featured an engaging discussion hosted by MALDEF and featured nationally-recognized leaders about major issues that will impact the Latino community this year. Issues discussed included education, protection of voting rights, redistricting, immigration, health care and nutrition, LGBT-based discrimination, marriage equality, as well as other topics. Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, delivered the keynote address for the event.
This year, for the first time ever and in partnership with HITN TV,* MALDEF live streamed the Latino State of the Union, providing nationwide access to this important and timely conversation!
U.S. DEPARMENT OF EDUCATION EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE COMMISSION
United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has appointed MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, and MALDEF board member, Jesse Ruiz, among twenty-eight members of the Department of Education’s newly created Equity and Excellence Commission.
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MALDEF Wins in Irving, Texas: Court Upholds Fair Apportionment for Latinos
On February 15th, MALDEF celebrated a U.S. District Court ruling upholding fair apportionment for Latinos in Irving, Texas. A lawsuit filed by Irving residents sought to mandate that the city apportion its council districts based on citizen voting age population instead of total population, which would have severely reduced representation of Latinos in Irving by packing them into overcrowded districts and burdening representatives elected to represent Latino neighborhoods.
THOUSANDS CONVENE AT TEXAS CAPITOL TO OPPOSE ANTI-IMMIGRATION LAWS
On February 22nd, MALDEF rallied with thousands of protesters in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, advocating for major reforms to Texas’ approach to immigration. Over 60 immigration related bills have been filed in the Texas legislature, which, if passed, would result in significant economic consequences for Texas and encourage racial profiling in the state. MALDEF is particularly concerned about HB 12 and SB 11— bills that prohibit cities from discouraging local law enforcement from enforcing all immigration laws.
MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney, Luis Figueroa, spoke at the rally about the tremendous contributions undocumented workers make each year to keep the American and Texas economies healthy; and the devastating consequences the nation would face if this workforce disappeared, including more than $1.7 trillion in annual lost spending in the U.S., a 6.3% workforce reduction in the state of Texas, and the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in social security revenue from a population that is not able to claim those benefits.
Alongside the rally, a coalition of immigrants’ rights groups known as The Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA) brought the protesters’ reform message directly to legislative offices. MALDEF helped lead this critical complementary effort, equipping advocates with the needed tools and evidence to warn and inform legislators of the negative impacts of anti-immigrant legislation on all Texans.