By Caroline Preston for the Chronicle of Philanthropy
Robert Hildreth used to be quiet about his philanthropy. But that changed when federal immigration agents raided a leather factory in New Bedford, Mass., on a March day two years ago, arresting hundreds of illegal immigrants as they stitched clothing and equipment for American soldiers overseas.
When Mr. Hildreth — a Boston banker who made a fortune selling bonds in Latin America during the 1980s and ’90s — heard reports that workers were being handcuffed and shipped to detention centers hundreds of miles from their families and lawyers who could represent them, he took action.
“I was furious at Immigration for sending these people far away,” he recalls.