Billionaire Long Islander Robert Mercer Protested for Funding Anti-Immigrant Bigotry

Robert Mercer's yacht the Sea Owl has a crew of 18.
Robert Mercer's yacht the Sea Owl has a crew of 18.

Immigrant rights groups protested outside the offices of Robert Mercer’s hedge fund Renaissance Technologies in Manhattan last week. Mercer funds anti-immigrant organizations. Mercer is a Long Islander and billionaire whose household employees sued him to get back overtime pay they said he owed them. His hedge fund has been accused of underpaying the IRS six billion dollars in taxes.

He uses his money to live a lavish lifestyle. For example, he sails the ocean in his 203 foot long yacht and he spent two million dollars to set up a model train layout at his home. For tax purposes, Mercer’s home has been described as the most valuable on Long Island, paying over $300,000 per year in taxes.

Thanu Yakupitiyage of the New York Immigration Coalition told reporters that the “Think Tanks” Mercer supports are frauds; “They’re providing all this so-called “research” that’s really just anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been supporting the delay of the immigration relief actions.”

Mercer lives in posh Head of the Harbor on Suffolk’s North Shore.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.