Health tycoon Mike Fernandez today announced the creation of a legal counsel coalition for undocumented immigrants facing deportation as part of President Donald Trump’s tough immigration policies.
The Cuban-American businessman told Efe that on his first day the new Immigration Parnership and Coalition (IMPAC) has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars that will serve for the legal defense of detained immigrants who do not have Criminal record
Fernandez, who recalled that he was also undocumented in Mexico, after leaving Cuba in 1964, said that before the current “persecution” of undocumented to be expelled, those who have a lawyer and are likely to avoid deportation To have a hearing with a judge.
He criticized that immigrants are treated as criminals by crossing the border without documentation when dealing with “simply a civil violation, such as a traffic ticket.”
The businessman said that it can not be tolerated that “a government, whether Democrat or Republican, insult, mistreat and detain people who have no documentation.”
Fernandez, who contributed $ 1 million to the new foundation, said he proposed an initial goal of $ 5 million, which IMPAC will earmark for the organizations Americans for Immigrant Justice and Catholic Legal Services.
Known for his millions of donations to political campaigns, the tycoon said the idea is to start in Florida and depending on the outcome expand to the country.
“Not only the economy, but the way we live is being impacted by a feeling of fear that is felt in the air,” says Fernandez in a video on the IMPAC website, which was officially launched today.
The video also speaks to entrepreneurs and officials who defend the diversity and “essential” work of immigrants and their impact on Florida’s economy, where they account for 20% of the population and pay $ 23 billion in taxes.
“Everyone who lives in Florida knows about the benefits immigrants bring,” Fernandez says.
The businessman, who is in favor of immigration reform, told Efe that immigrants do the work that “nobody wants to do in this country”, many of them agricultural jobs.
On the other hand, he thanked that, without asking, he has received the support of influential artists, journalists, sportsmen, businessmen and academics such as the president of Miami-Dade College (MDC), Eduardo Padrón, and the president of the law firm Greenberg Taurig, Cesar Alvarez, to compose the coalition’s board of directors.
Fernandez, who has historically supported the Republican Party and in the past primaries leaned toward the conservative Jeb Bush, made in 2016 donations to the campaign of the Democrat Hillary Clinton to register Latin voters.
The health tycoon, who has said he can not support a party he “no longer recognizes,” urged Hispanics to vote against Trump in rejecting his “violence” against this community.
“I specifically call on all Latinos to reject the man who foments violence against them,” Fernandez said on that occasion.