Koch groups call for lame duck 'Dreamer' deal

Koch groups call for lame duck 'Dreamer' deal
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Three groups affiliated with billionaire mega-donor Charles Koch are calling on congressional leaders to strike a bipartisan deal that would provide a permanent solution for "Dreamers."
 
The heads of Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners and the Libre Initiative said in a Nov. 13 letter released on Thursday that Congress should make Dreamers a component of an upcoming spending bill where border security will play a central role.
 
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"Congress should seize this opportunity to act on another immigration priority with strong support among the American people: a solution for the Dreamers," reads the Nov. 13 letter that was released Thursday.
 
The Koch network has long sided with moderate Republicans and Democrats on the issue of providing permanent immigration status for Dreamers -- immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as minors.
 
The Koch-affiliated groups do not make specific recommendations on how to provide permanent relief for Dreamers, many of whom are still protected from deportation and allowed to work under former President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE ordered DACA rescinded in September 2017, giving Congress six months to replace the program through legislation. The president's rescission is tied up in court after a 9th Circuit injunction forced the Department of Homeland Security to continue renewing DACA benefits, but advocates fear a reversal could leave the nearly-700,000 existing DACA beneficiaries without protections from deportation.
 
"These young people, brought here as children, continue to live in uncertainty as their status is in  jeopardy. Their ability to plan for the future and contribute to the nation remains limited until Congress passes legislation resolving their legal status," reads the letter, signed by Brent Gardner of Americans for Prosperity, Nathan Nascimento of Freedom Partners and Daniel Garza of the Libre Initiative.
 
An attempt to legislate a solution for Dreamers stalled in over the summer Congress, as Trump attempted to trade Dreamer protections for border wall funding and an end to certain legal immigration programs, such as the diversity visa lottery.
 
With the midterms in the rear-view mirror and a lame duck border security funding package in the works, some have expressed optimism that a Dreamer deal is possible. Still, competing priorities on each side of the aisle are complicating the prospects for a bipartisan agreement.
 
"A legislative compromise that pairs a permanent solution for the Dreamers with additional funding for border security has again been proposed," the Koch-affiliated groups wrote. "We believe such a compromise can be passed and enacted into law with broad bipartisan support."