Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF): Background

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF): School-Related Litigation

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF): Other Actions

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) was incorporated in Texas in 1968. MALDEF was modeled after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Legal Defense Fund (NAACP/LDF) as a civil rights organization to protect the rights of Mexican Americans using the judicial system. MALDEF has evolved from a grassroots first-generation Mexican American legal organization to a diverse, more corporate law firm protecting the rights of all Latino groups. MALDEF’s civil rights legal history is grounded in the protection of voting rights, educational rights, employment protections related to national origin and citizenship status, language issues, and hate crimes. MALDEF’S mission is to foster sound public policies, laws, and programs to safeguard the civil rights of all Latinos living in the United States. This entry summarizes its history and achievements.

Augustina H. Reyes

See also Equal Protection Analysis; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Plyler v. Doe; San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez; U.S. Supreme Court Cases in Education

Further Readings

  • Casey, T. M. (2000). Research guide to the records of MALDEF Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (1968–1983). Retrieved January 14, 2008, from http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/guides/m673.html 
  • Olivas, M. (2005). Plyler v. Doe, the education of undocumented children, and the polity. In D. Martin & P. Schuck (Eds.), Immigration stories. New York: Foundation Press. 
  • Reyes, A. H. (2008, in press). The right to an education for homeless students: The children of Katrina and immigration. The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingue. Arizona State University. 

Legal Citations

  • Edgewood Independent School District v. Kirby, 917 S.W.2d 717 (Tex. 1989). 
  • League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry, 126 U.S. 2594 (2006). 
  • Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982). 
  • San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973).