Tag Archives: immigration

MALDEF National President Thomas Saenz

November 8, 2019 – Thomas Saenz is the national president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and its general counsel. Saenz has been a key figure in the Martínez/Yazzie v. State of New Mexico lawsuit, the case that is forcing the state to improve the education it provides for certain groups of students. Recently, both groups of plaintiffs asked the court to set more strict deadlines for the state to prove it is making progress. Correspondent Russell Contreras speaks with Saenz about what’s ahead in the case and why MALDEF, established more than 50 years ago, is still needed today. 

Thomas Saenz, MALDEF national president 

For Further Reading:

MALDEF | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund 

New Yazzie court filings seek more action on educationNew Mexico In Depth 


Internment Camps and the Immigration Debate

Japanese Internment Camps

July 19, 2019 – In 1941, during her fourth birthday party in Seattle, Nikki Nojima Louis saw her father arrested by FBI agents. It was December 7 and the Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor. Her father was an immigrant from Japan and he ended up in a New Mexico detention camp. Nojima Louis and her mother were interned in Idaho. They were among the 120,000 Japanese Americans rounded up and incarcerated during World War II. Nojima Louis now lives in Albuquerque and is artistic director for the New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League Players. Recently, she traveled to Oklahoma to join a protest with other internment veterans from World War II at Fort Sill. That facility was used to incarcerate Japanese men, including Buddhist monks, during the war. Now, there are plans to use Fort Sill to house young migrants. In this episode, she speaks with NMIF correspondent Megan Kamerick about why she decided to add her voice to the protest.


Nikki Nojima Louis, New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League


For Further Reading/Watching:

Army officer suspended for confronting Japanese-Americans protesting Fort Sill’s role in migrant detentionArmy Times 

Japanese internment camp survivors protest Ft. Sill migrant detention Center Los Angeles Times

Not getting stuck in injustice: Japanese American citizens WWII-era New MexicoSanta Fe New Mexican 

Buddhist memorial service to be held at Fort Sill protest against migrant detentionLions Roar

Oklahoma’s Fort Sill has a history of jailing minority groups. Migrant children could be next – PRI’s The World