03 Δεκ The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (Maldef) Focuses on
Thomas Saenz is President and General Counsel of MALDEF. Prior to assuming this position in 2009, Saenz worked in the administration of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D); The Los Angeles Times called Saenz “the closest adviser” to Villaraigosa. He had worked as a staff lawyer for MALDEF before joining the administration of Villaraigosa in 2005.  In 2009, President Barack Obama reportedly considered appointing Saenz to a Justice Department position, but he withdrew for fear of being perceived as too friendly with illegal immigrants.  California Governor Jerry Brown (D) also considered Saenz for a seat on the California Supreme Court.  LA Represent is a legal services initiative and a partner of various legal organizations. MALDEF has received funding from other left-wing organized interests: the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) United Healthcare Workers-West provided $40,000 to MALDEF in 2017, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) provided $7,500 this year, and the National Education Association provided $15,000 in 2016.  MALDEF focused its efforts on protecting and promoting equal rights for Latinos and constitutional rights for all in four core program areas: education, employment and economic advancement, immigrant rights, and voting and political access. Our history is full of victories that have had profound societal implications in each of these areas. PILI fellows and interns will work on important issues related to immigration rights, education, policy access and employment. MALDEF treats cases that have the greatest impact on the Latin American community. However, these activities did not help set precedents or prepare the courts for advances in civil rights, so by the early 1970s MALDEF had begun to focus more on constitutional litigation. In particular, the organization focused on transnational education and civil rights.
MALDEF lawyers suffered a setback in San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez in 1973 when they failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court that Texas had violated the Fourteenth Amendment by failing to provide equal educational opportunities for poor children. Greater selectivity and patience in developing test cases led to important victories such as Plyler v. Doe in 1982, in which the court accepted MALDEF`s argument that Texas could not exclude children of undocumented illegal immigrants from public schools. In 1994, MALDEF successfully challenged California`s Proposition 187, an election initiative that denied undocumented immigrants public education, social services, and health services. MALDEF has also successfully advocated against universal voting systems – redistricting practices that minimize the political influence of minorities – and (in state courts) against certain school funding formulas. After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, MALDEF began to focus on issues of civil liberties and immigrant rights in the new context of internal security. MALDEF`s activities have defined a legacy of legal tactics for the Latino community and have contributed to the inclusion of Latinos in politics and the protection of civil rights since the 1960s.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund fights for racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education, and by maintaining the progress made over the past 70 years of civil rights struggles. They typically focus on cases involving large groups of people and legal protections for African Americans. The MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) opened its doors on August 1, 1968 in San Antonio, Texas. Inspired by civil rights litigation on behalf of the African-American community and aware of pervasive discrimination against Latinos, lawyers and community activists throughout the southwestern United States began efforts to create a legal organization serving the Latino community. This is a short list of various national legal advisory organizations. The last link leads to various legal aid organizations in Los Angeles. MALDEF itself has funded a number of organizations involved in ideological outreach and political activation of left-wing Hispanics as part of an “endowment grant to promote national political empowerment of Latinos.”  Organizational recipients of MALDEF grants include the Syndicated Labor Council for the Advancement of Latin America, the National Party Workers Organization Network, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, and the pro-abortion Latin Institute for Reproductive Health.  The importance of MALDEF`s work as a law firm for the Latin American community is greater than ever. Never before has the need for advocacy and education been greater, which will open doors to the American dream. Your support of MALDEF will go a long way in helping our cause for fair treatment of Latinos in classrooms, workplaces and courtrooms. Together, we can continue to make a real difference in the lives of the Latin American community. MALDEF filed a lawsuit on behalf of parents and families in April 2014 to ensure that poor and vulnerable children in New Mexico receive an adequate education.
A state court rules for the first time in New Mexico`s history that education is a fundamental right under the state constitution. The lawsuit led to a state court ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in July 2018. MALDEF has also received funding from other major left-wing foundations. In 2014, the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded MALDEF a $1,000,000 grant to MALDEF`s “Working Group on Proxy Disputes.”  In 2012, the Foundation to Support Open Society, controlled by left-wing mega-donor George Soros, provided MALDEF, among other things, with $250,000 as “support for its redistricting activities in Texas.”  The left transfer unit NEO Philanthropy contributed $650,000 to MALDEF in 2015 and $1.2 million in 2014.  MALDEF`s advocacy focuses on universal access to schools, equitable distribution of public educational resources, quality improvement for all students, and expanding access and achievement in higher education for Latinos. The organization also receives significant funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Public Welfare Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the California Endowment, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, and the Arcus Foundation. The BP America oil company training also provided MALDEF with $500,000 in 2009, and MALDEF significantly supported Anheuser-Busch`s training in 2009 and 2010.  MALDEF has been heavily involved in the development of census procedures and racial and ethnic identification questions, manipulating these issues to maximize the political power of MALDEF and its allies. The development of Hispanic as a distinct ethnicity in federal statistics dates back to the 1970 census period, when the Nixon administration requested Hispanic identification on the partially released “long-form” questionnaire.
This was not enough for MALDEF: the organization urged the Carter administration to add a question on Hispanic ethnicity to the main response form for the 1980 census, which it did. The effort was explicitly political: the reclassification of Hispanics as a separate statistical category paved the way for ethnic gerrymandering and gave MALDEF and other advocacy groups the opportunity to seek additional federal funding for the interests of the ethnic groups they championed.  In addition to lobbying, litigation and advocacy on immigration issues, MALDEF also sponsors the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA). CIYJA, like MALDEF, has taken an activist approach to obtaining legal status for all illegal immigrants in the state; The group disrupted events organized by the Democratic leader of the House of Representatives.