- Former President of the League of United Latin American Citizens
- Co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Open Borders advocate
Mario Obledo was born in Texas in 1932, the son of Mexican parents who had immigrated to the United States in 1915. From 1983 to 1985, Obledo served as President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). He is also the co-founder of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which has become the most influential Hispanic advocacy group in the United States.
In May 1998 Obledo articulated his racial agenda by stating, "California is going to be a Hispanic state, and anyone who doesn't like it should leave. They should go back to Europe." "Eventually," he said the following month, "we [Hispanics] will take over all the political institutions of California."
In June 1998 Obledo was asked to comment on Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez's observation that "We have an aging white America, they are dying, I love it." Obledo responded: "He's a good friend of mine. A very smart person."
In August 1998 Obledo and the California chapter of LULAC joined forces to protest the Taco Bell restaurant chain's use of a chihuahua in its advertising. According to Obledo, the use of the dog was racist and offensive to Hispanics.
When the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) in 1998 erected a billboard on the California/Arizona border reading, "Welcome to California, the Illegal Imigration State. Don't Let This Happen to Your State," an infuriated Obledo issued a press release threatening to blow up or burn down the billboard. Caving to this intimidation, the company that had rented the billboard space to CCIR refunded the organization's fee and removed the offending message.
In 1998 Obledo was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton.