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Koch network reportedly plans 2019 push for Dreamers

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The massive network of conservative donors spearheaded by Charles and David Koch is reportedly preparing a major effort in 2019 to support “Dreamers,” the young unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

The powerful network intends to push for Dreamers to receive permanent legal status, TIME reported, citing an internal email that a Koch spokesman verified.

“These are people who have already demonstrated their commitment and contribution to this country — and in 2019 our country can do the same for them,” the email reportedly said.

A network spokesman also confirmed to the magazine that immigration reform was one of several key policy priorities for the next two years, along with poverty, addiction, and education.

“We are making significant investments to unite the country and address critical issues that will help people improve their lives,” spokesman James Davis said. “This starts with a major new initiative to fight poverty in America, and following on the success of the First Step Act in December continuing to build broad-based policy coalitions on issues from education reform to immigration.”

Read more: Most Americans approve of the bipartisan, Trump-backed criminal-justice reforms Congress passed

Davis added that this push will include “significant investment” in 2020 Congressional candidates who share those policy goals.

David Koch did not financially support President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
AP

When reached for comment, Koch network representatives referred INSIDER to the LIBRE Initiative, a Koch-backed nonprofit in favor of immigration reform. The group said in a statement it was encouraged by lawmakers who support both Dreamers and border-security funding.

“It’s critical that leaders unify and come together on a measure that offers permanent legal status to the Dreamers, rather than a short-term solution that forces Congress to debate this issue again in a few years – and which fails to provide the certainty that people need to plan their lives and build a better future,” President Daniel Garza said. “And instead of more vague talk, it’s time for the President and congressional leaders to begin to discuss specifics about a possible deal.”

Offering legal status to Dreamers has been floated in recent days as a potential incentive for Democrats to vote for President Donald Trump’s border wall funding, an issue that has left lawmakers at loggerheads as a government shutdown nears the two-week mark.

But lawmakers from both parties dismissed the potential deal on Friday, with Democrats standing firm on their opposition to a wall, and Republicans expressing skepticism that Trump would back a broad solution for the Dreamers.

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