Tim Cook, Charles Koch write joint op-ed urging action on dreamers
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.
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 Clinton 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 Sessions announced in September that President Trump 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 Ryan (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.