A billionaire Miami political donor wants to meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan to press his case for Congress to protect from deportation immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
Healthcare magnate Mike Fernandez, a vocal opponent of the Trump administration's aggressive deportation policy, has asked Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo to arrange a meeting with Ryan, according to an email exchange Fernandez forwarded Friday to the Miami Herald and a group of local and state business, political and civic leaders.
President Donald Trump has threatened to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, better known as DACA. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday an announcement would come Tuesday.
"We love the DREAMers," Trump told reporters. "We love everybody."
In the email, Fernandez praised Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, a Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon who was born in Mexico and crossed the border into the U.S. as a teenager. Fernandez called him a "dear friend."
"This is the type of talent we will be deporting" he wrote. "What are we doing to our Nation?"
Fernandez included a Friday morning email to Curbelo calling the sophomore congressman "bold" because he has filed legislative amendments trying to keep the Trump administration from spending money to deport DACA recipients.
Curbelo has also filed a bill that would effectively enact DACA into law -- an effort supported by other Republicans, including Ryan, who said Friday he opposes having Trump end DACA before letting Congress take it up.
From his BlackBerry, Curbelo responded to Fernandez on Friday: "No stone can be left unturned."
He acknowledged the White House would probably "weaken" the program.
"I feel good about a legislative fix before the end of the year," Curbelo added. "Had a good conversation with Paul. Will work on a meeting for you this month."
Curbelo previously arranged a 2016 Ryan meeting with Fernandez over Cuba policy. Fernandez was then a registered Republican who backed former President Barack Obama's renewed diplomatic relations with Havana.
Fernandez has since left the GOP and registered without party affiliation. Earlier this year, he created a fund to help defend unauthorized immigrants in court.
Earlier this week, Fernandez took part in a Miami Dade College forum supporting DACA.
Fernandez was a major financier of Jeb Bush's presidential campaign. Friday on Facebook, Bush also urged legislative action to protect Dreamers:
Photo credit: Roberto Koltun, el Nuevo Herald