Fronteras: Mexican-American Rights & 'Hidden History' Of Latinos In The Vietnam War | Texas Public Radio

Fronteras: Mexican-American Rights & 'Hidden History' Of Latinos In The Vietnam War

Nov 9, 2018

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund was founded 50 years ago to defend the rights of Mexican-Americans in the U.S. We explored some of the organization’s victories with Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for the organization (01:02). And, a new play is shedding a light on some Latino Vietnam veterans who have gone unaccounted for decades (16:45).


Nina Perales, vice president of litigation for MALDEF.
Credit Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Breaking The Barriers For Latinos

Illegal immigration has been a key issue of the Trump administration. One divide in Congress is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival.

Recipients of DACA  have lived the majority of their lives on the northern side of the U.S.-Mexico border, and are now at risk of deportation.

MALDEF is commonly known as “the law firm of the Latino community.” The organization was inspired by the African American legal fight for civil rights.

Its most recent case involves representing students who entered the country illegally as children in a lawsuit the state of Texas brought against the federal government, challenging the legality of the DACA program.

Diana Shield is a Marine Corps veteran and actress.
Credit Libby Denkmann / KPCC

'Hidden History' Of Chicanos Who Served In Vietnam

No one knows how many Latinos served in the Vietnam War because the Pentagon didn’t count them. But KPCC’s Libby Denkmann brings us a story about a new play that recently debuted in Los Angeles is telling the stories of some of the Mexican-Americans who fought in Vietnam.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1, and Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren