William J. Sanchez was born in 1961 in Manhattan, New York. As the second child of Cuban immigrant parents, William was driven to succeed and became a passionate advocate for social and economic justice. He has embraced a strong-willed determination to protect and defend the rights of individuals, families and communities in need.
He actively participated and co-founded numerous non-profit groups, including City Kids, Inc., Philippine Charities Foundation, an Asian Grameen Village bank for the poor, and many others. The village bank currently serves thousands of micro-business owners in Asia and also has an established division for new first-time home-owners. In the US, he helped establish one of Florida’s largest micro-finance institutions, Partners for Self Employment.
Mr. Sanchez has represented thousands of companies and immigrants, from Cuban and Haitian refugees to multinational corporations and sovereign nations. He graduated from Columbus High School in 1979 and attended University of Miami, where he majored in economics and was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. He obtained his Jurist Doctorate at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was Lead Articles Editor at the Immigration Law Journal and graduated in 1986. While attending Georgetown Law, William volunteered in a Vietnamese Refugee Camp in the Philippines, where he worked in the administrative office with a United Nations affiliate and taught basic English to Vietnamese refugees. Immediately after law school, William worked as a staff attorney for a non-profit agency, Haitian Refugee Center (“HRC”) in Miami, Florida.
After returning to Miami with his wife, Irene, and gaining invaluable experience at HRC, he and his family established the law practice in 1989. His wife’s journey to America as a young girl from the Philippines in the early 80’s and his parent’s migration from Cuba in 1961, drove William to dedicate his life to serving immigrants. He has worked on numerous cases appearing before immigration courts and numerous federal courts. Among his clients have been Haitian and Mexican farm workers, Cuban refugees and those immigrants hoping to establish new businesses and build their dreams in the US.
In 2004, the US Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment by President George W. Bush as Special Counsel for the Dept. of Justice, Office of Special Counsel, Unfair Employment Practices. While working in DC, Will was one of the highest ranking Hispanics at the Department of Justice. He travelled the country promoting DOJ activities and helped establish a new program to fund non-profit communities around the US. He was frequently asked to give speeches at the White House, to educate national organizations on the administration’s immigration plans.
William is committed to fighting for the marginalized, the poor, our elders who cannot pay their bills. The children whose parents can’t afford health insurance. Their needs will be his main priority. We must protect the most vulnerable and strengthen the middle class to build a robust future for Florida.
An avid sports fan, Will has been coaching basketball at the local YMCA for years. He also enjoys sprint triathlons, painting, and writing. He has been happily married for over 34 years, and has three lovely, grown children and one absolutely adorable granddaughter.