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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 most openly anti-Latino president in history was driven from office nearly six months ago, but the challenges presented by Donald Trump’s failed leadership remain. First, the danger of recrudescence looms, as Trump openly flirts with another campaign in 2024, and as far too many leaders of his political party remain in his thrall. Second, fixing the damage of sustained exclusionary rhetoric and policy will continue for the foreseeable future. Part of this stems from Trump administration attempts to embed its poorly-conceived policies, and part emanates from the new administration’s inability to move aggressively to reverse certain ongoing and damaging consequences, despite substantial progress in some other areas.

I am exceedingly proud of MALDEF staff as they have pivoted successfully in reaction to the change in the White House, while ensuring that we continue our active, leadership role in advocating, grounded in the law, to protect and promote the rights of the Latino community. We look forward to continuing to work with all of you!

News Releases

MALDEF Praises Hopeful Set of Federal Judicial Nominations

LOS ANGELES – Today, President Joseph R. Biden announced a seventh slate of federal judicial nominees. Included in the nominations were three Latinos: Justice Gabriel P. Sanchez, nominated to the United States Court of Appeals...

MALDEF APPOINTS LETICIA SAUCEDO AS NATIONAL SENIOR COUNSEL

LOS ANGELES – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) announced the appointment today of Leticia Marie Saucedo as a National Senior Counsel. Saucedo has spent more than a decade as a professor of law at the...

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Our History

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.

MALDEF’S Landmark Fight for Education Equality in Texas

For years, low-income students in San Antonio were relegated to decrepit schools infested with bats—yes, bats—where tiles fell from classroom ceilings and underpaid teachers fled as soon as they could get hired elsewhere. These schools lacked funding for classes wealthier districts took for granted such, as art and music. Basics such as math and reading in these schools were just that – extremely basic.

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Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund