ATTORNEY Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado
Ray A. Ybarra Maldonado is a human rights activist, author, filmmaker,, and public speaker. Born in Douglas, AZ, Ybarra Maldonado’s mother was born just a few miles to the south in the town of Agua Prieta, Sonora. As a lawyer, Ybarra Maldonado is an aggressive trial attorney who has attained not guilty verdicts for his clients in both state and federal courts. In addition to attaining not guilty verdict he has won motions to suppress evidence that have resulted in complete dismissal of cases and has attained victories at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In the immigration context, his clients have successfully been bonded out of immigration detention, attained U Visas, have had VAWA applications approved, won appeals after denials from USCIS, and attained permanent resident status following an individual hearing (equivalent of trial in immigration court), and he has had multiple cases completely dismissed or had stay of deportations granted. Ybarra Maldonado co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary, “Rights on the Line: Vigilantes at the Border,” was instrumental in bringing about a major civil rights lawsuit against one of the vigilantes, and created and coordinated the Legal Observer Project during the Minutemen’s operations. He has trained hundreds of volunteers and spent months following the minutemen as they patrolled along the U.S. – Mexico Divide. His book “Born on the Border: Minutemen Vigilantes, Origins of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Movement, and a Call for Increased Civil Disobedience” was published in 2013 and was a required reading in an Immigration class at Harvard Law School.
Ybarra Maldonado has written about and given numerous talks on vigilantism, the militarization of the border and the growing immigrant’s rights movement at numerous universities including Stanford, Harvard, University of California at Berkeley, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and to community groups from Washington to Iowa. In addition to receiving awards for his commitment to social justice, Ybarra Maldonado has testified in front of local and state bodies as well as having his work quoted at the United Nations. Ybarra Maldonado is frequently quoted in both the national and international media and his work has been profiled in the Intelligence Report, Stanford Lawyer, and in a documentary that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, entitled “Crossing Arizona.” Ybarra Maldonado spent a year vounteering at a migrant center in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico and in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico assisting with cleaning, preparing food, and conducting human rights discussions amongst the migrants.
“Human beings like all other animals should not be restrained by prisons, cages, or borders.”
Ybarra Maldonado was awarded an athletic scholarship to play baseball at Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ and later graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2002 with a degree in Religious Studies and fromStanford Law School in 2007. He has previously worked for United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and was a proud public defender in Cochise County and with the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Tucson, AZ.He currently lives in Phoenix, AZ with his wife, Angeles Maldonado, and their handsome boys, Ray Emerson and Stokely Daniel.” -Ray Prior to his marriage to Angeles he was “Ray Ybarra” and legally has changed his name to “Ray Ybarra Maldonado.” The family are avid fans of the Arizona State Sun Devils, Stanford Cardinal, and all things Arizona (minus the anti-immigrant politics).