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Tim Cook, Charles Koch write joint op-ed urging action on dreamers

Tim Cook, Charles Koch write joint op-ed urging action on dreamers
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Apple CEO Tim Cook and billionaire GOP donor Charles Koch are jointly pressing Congress to shore up permanent legal protections for young immigrants in the U.S. illegally. 

In an op-ed published by The Washington Post on Thursday, Cook and Koch argued that the U.S. "is at its best" when it embraces diversity, adding that Congress has a "moral imperative" to grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of "dreamers" — immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

"This is a political, economic and moral imperative. The sooner that Congress resolves this situation — on a permanent basis — the sooner dreamers can seize the opportunity to plan their lives and develop their talents," they wrote.

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Cook and Koch present an unusual pairing. Koch and his brother, David, are known as two of the most prominent conservative donors in the country. Cook, on the other hand, has given to both Republican and Democratic candidates, though he backed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSinema invokes McCain in Senate acceptance speech Sinema defeats McSally in Arizona Senate race Hillicon Valley: Social media struggles with new forms of misinformation | US, Russia decline to join pledge on fighting cybercrimes | Trump hits Comcast after antitrust complaint | Zuckerberg pressed to testify before global panel MORE during the 2016 presidential race.

Cook and Koch said both their businesses had benefited from employing dreamers, and the U.S. has a responsibility to allow talented people the ability to work in the country.

"The United States should not hold hard-working, patriotic people hostage to the debate over immigration — or, worse, expel them because we have yet to resolve a complex national argument," they wrote. 

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report Acting AG will meet with DOJ ethics officials to discuss possible recusal: reports Swalwell calls acting AG an 'assassin' hired to 'take out' Mueller probe MORE announced in September that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to oust Nielsen as early as this week: report California wildfire becomes deadliest in state’s history Sinema’s Senate win cheered by LGBTQ groups MORE would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which granted certain young immigrants a temporary reprieve from deportation as well as work permits.

Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans have pushed for legislative action by the end of the year that would grant dreamers legal status. House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRepublicans must learn from the election mistake on immigration Congress braces for high-drama lame duck Without new Democratic message, Donald Trump is the 2020 favorite MORE (R-Wis.) has said that the deadline for addressing a DACA fix is in March, when the program ends.

Some Democrats have said they will not vote for an end-of-year spending measure if DACA is not addressed.