CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Mike Fernandez is no stranger to crossing party lines. A major Republican donor and influencer, he joined forces with the Obama administration on their new Cuba policy. But when the GOP nominated Donald Trump as their presidential candidate, the Cuban American billionaire officially changed his affiliation to Independent.
Fernandez could not abide by then-candidate Trump’s immigration rhetoric, and now he won’t play nice with the president’s immigration policies. So he’s made it his mission to help as many undocumented families as he can.
Fernandez recently put $1 million of his own funds, and has pledged $4 million more, to spearhead the Immigration Partnership & Coalition Fund. IMPAC Fund “will be focused towards fundraising for the defense of non-felon undocumented residents to protect families,” states the organization’s mission statement. “We recognize the importance that immigrants represent to the fiber of our community and its economic well-being.”
The fund will give money to organizations that provide legal services to immigrants. He’s enlisted some powerful support, including Miami Heat player Alonzo Mourning, renowned Miami Dade College president Eduardo Padrón and Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
We recently sat down with Fernandez at his palatial estate to ask what drives his work for immigrants and immigration reform. Before a helicopter landed to whisk him away to his next meeting, we spoke about why he’s created a space for political and civic activism by putting his money behind his convictions.
To read the full story: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/why-cuban-american-billionaire-raising-millions-undocumented-immigrants-n764576