MALDEF AND NDLON ANNOUNCE JOINT IMMIGRANT CIVIL RIGHTS DEFENSE EFFORT
Two Leading Immigrant Rights Organizations Establish Fund and Seek Donations
November 18, 2016
LOS ANGELES, CA - - Less than two weeks after Donald J. Trump was elected president, two national civil rights groups announced the launch of a joint legal defense fund aimed at protecting and advancing immigrants' civil rights in the United States.
Today's announcement by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) and NDLON (National Day Laborer Organizing Network) comes in the wake of growing concern among Latinos and immigrants who fear the new administration may move swiftly to undertake mass deportations and adopt other unlawful immigration enforcement policies.
"President-elect Trump's promise to terrorize, incarcerate, and expel immigrants has already ignited a bottom-up effort to defend and fight for the rights of immigrants and those targeted by his divisive rhetoric," said Pablo Alvarado, director of NDLON. “While the President-elect's policies are unpredictable, those of his closest advisors are not. They are the architects of some of the country's most anti-immigrant legislation and their strategy is beginning to unveil itself. This fund will ensure that the next chapter in the long struggle for social justice and civil rights is written by immigrants."
The new initiative will focus on bringing legal challenges against any new and unconstitutional immigration enforcement actions, including unlawful raids. The funds will also help strengthen organizing in support of immigrants and their families.
"The Latino immigrant community will not be alone in confronting any draconian federal enforcement tactics or any state or local excesses catalyzed by the change in presidential administration," said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel. "We are proud to work once more with our frequent partner, NDLON, and look forward with confidence to having the resources to deliver the most vigorous defense of the Constitution and of all of our immigrant community members."
The fund has already received backing from high profile artists, including Grammy winner Linda Ronstadt, Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha, singer Aloe Blacc and others who have rallied in support of civil rights and immigrants.
This isn't the first time both organizations collaborate to protect immigrants' civil rights.
In 2010, NDLON and MALDEF successfully challenged a Redondo Beach ordinance that sought to restrict day laborers' free speech. A federal court of appeals ruled the anti-solicitation measure unconstitutional, forcing dozens of other cities to repeal copycat ordinances. And both groups went to court to block a key provision of Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070 law that sought to criminalize the solicitation of work by day laborers.
Visit the website: https://immigrantdefensefund.org/
Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.