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Keep up with the latest news on MALDEF’s work in court, in state and federal legislatures, and in your community.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

The work of MALDEF and our civil rights allies, including all of you, is more needed than ever, especially as the Latino community continues to struggle to gain appropriate recognition and representation as our nation’s largest racial minority group for the past twenty years. The latest demographic milestone to be achieved came just a couple of months ago, when the Census Bureau estimated that Latinos have now surpassed whites to be the single largest racial group in the state of Texas. We achieved the same status in California some eight years ago, making us now the largest racial group in the nation’s two largest states. Yet, even our most woke allies seem to regularly demonstrate that they suffer from the soft bigotry that manifests as an implicit belief that Latinos should expect perpetually to be underrepresented in positions of power and influence.

As the midterm elections continued to demonstrate, tenacious and often desperate efforts to remain in power mark a long-term illness of our polity. Latinos, as the nation’s ascendant population group, experienced as much or more than any group the misuse of the redistricting process this decade in the face of demographic growth of the nonwhite population. At MALDEF, we continue to fight in two statewide redistricting lawsuits and anticipate more to come throughout the decade.

Cognizant that the racist “replacement theory” is simply the latest label for what was the “reconquista conspiracy” a quarter century ago, we confront this noxious infection of thought from the frontlines. We know that this fear-mongering ideology focuses on Latinos, whether or not the media chooses to portray it that way. Our work on behalf of Latino immigrants of all statuses, including no formal status, remains central to our mission, so we strategize and toil daily to improve the situation of these powerful, yet unprotected, defenders and promoters of our national progress.

I invite you to review some of the recent highlights of our work below. You can always find the latest on our work in prominent social media and online. We thank you for your support.

News Releases

MALDEF HONORS COMMUNITY LEADERS AT LOS ANGELES AWARDS BANQUET

LOS ANGELES –  MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) honored three Latino leaders in Los Angeles last week for their long service to civil rights and the Latino community. “In the immediate aftermath of...

Latinos Prove Decisive In Critical 2022 Midterms

Leading National Latino Civic Participation Groups Provide Analysis of 2022 Latino Vote Recording from the event are HERE and HERE   Washington D.C. – The Latino vote was definitive last night in critical races across the...

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Our History

The Legal Fight to Protect The First Amendment Right of Day Laborers

Workers who are hired by the day have long been part of the American labor force. In the 19th Century, they were immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Germany, and Poland. Later, immigrants from the American South, Black and white, were a native-born stream flowing into this pool of labor. But, for decades the clusters of men seeking work outside home repair stores or gathered on street corners in Southern California have been largely from Mexico and Central America.

Celebrating a History of Women Leaders at MALDEF​​

Ambassador Vilma Martinez (left) Thomas A. Saenz (center) and Antonia Hernández (right).
(Photo taken at MALDEF’s 50th Anniversary Gala in San Antonio, Texas.)

As we near the conclusion of Women’s History Month, MALDEF celebrates its organizational history of women in leadership. For the majority of its existence since 1968, MALDEF has been led by women as president and general counsel. Women’s rights organizations aside, MALDEF may be the only national civil rights organization that can make that claim. We spoke with two of these women leaders, women relied upon by MALDEF through their many years of leadership and all the way up to today. MALDEF’s current president and general counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, has benefitted from both these leaders as professional mentors throughout his legal career.

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Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund