The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund advocates for the nearly 45 million Latinos living in the United States, providing legal assistance, educational support, and employment assistance. It is the leading Latino civil rights organization in the United States.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) was founded in 1968 by
According to its mission statement, MALDEF works to ensure “that there are no obstacles preventing [Latinos] from realizing [their] dreams” and “to secure the rights of Latinos, primarily in the areas of employment, education, immigrants’ rights, political access, and public resource equity.” To accomplish its goals, MALDEF operates several targeted programs. Its Employment and Equal Opportunity Program helps Latino workers obtain fair wages and benefits by educating workers about their rights and by litigating against illegal discrimination. The Parent School Partnership and Community Education and Leadership Development programs help people understand and advocate for their rights. The Public Resource Equity Program works to ensure that Latino communities receive their fair share of public funding and other public resources; to support child-care programs, domestic violence shelters, health clinics, and other programs; and to see that there are enough bilingual staff members at appropriate agencies to assist Latinos in understanding their rights and responsibilities.
MALDEF’s legal division has won several important cases, helping to protect the rights of Latinos on issues of language and access to medical care and housing. It successfully fought to overturn
Acosta, Teresa Palomo, and Ruthe Winegarten. Las Tejanas: Three Hundred Years of History. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003. Chavez, Linda. Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation. New York: Basic Books, 1991. Storey, John W., and Mary L. Kelley. Twentieth-Century Texas: A Social and Cultural History. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 2008.
Border Patrol, U.S.
Civil Rights movement
Immigrant aid organizations
Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S.
Latinos and immigrants
Sociedad Progresista Mexicana