Born in the small border town of Douglas, AZ, Ray Ybarra Maldonado is a Stanford educated attorney who took a two-year leave from his studies to directly intervene in the vigilante movement that was starting in Arizona. While working for the American Civil Liberties Union, Ybarra Maldonado was instrumental in starting a major civil rights lawsuit against one of the vigilantes and trained hundreds of volunteers and spent months following the Minutemen as they patrolled the U.S.-Mexico Border.
He co-wrote and co-produced the award winning documentary, Rights on the Line: Vigilantes at the Border and he has been quoted frequently in the national and international media on the topic of immigrants’ rights and the vigilantes.
Ybarra Maldonado is a noted public speaker who has given presentations at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, and dozens of other universities, colleges, and community groups across North America.
Ybarra Maldonado has testified in front of local and state government entities and is 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.”
As a trial attorney, in the anti-immigrant state of Arizona, he has attained not guilty verdict on felony charges for immigrants in both state and federal court. He has also won cases at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of migrants and currently remains in the trenches fighting to stop deportations in the Florence, Eloy, and Phoenix immigration courts and representing immigrants charged with both state and federal crimes. His recent victories include a not guilty verdict following a jury trial in one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s workplace raid cases.
Ybarra Maldonado attended Cochise Community College in Douglas, AZ on a baseball scholarship and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a degree in Religious Studies. He previously volunteered at migrants centers in Agua Prieta, Sonora and Tapachula, Chiapas where he assisted with cleaning, preparing food, and conducting human rights discussions.
Ybarra Maldonado is currently a non-residential fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, a board member of Los Abogados, and the Litigation Liason for the Arizona Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
He lives with his wife and child, Ray Emerson, in Phoenix, AZ. Prior to his marriage to his wife Dr. Angeles Maldonado 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).