Originally published by Politico
The Koch network has a rare message for President Donald Trump: Take the Democrats’ immigration deal.
A trio of organizations supported by Charles and David Koch is urging Trump to accept congressional Democrats’ weekend offer, which would deliver $25 billion for a border wall and security in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young immigrants, according to officials in the Koch network. The White House was unwilling to accept the deal, instead offering Democrats a two-and-a-half-year extension of protections for so-called Dreamers facing deportation in return for wall money and dropping their demands for cuts to legal immigration.
But the Koch groups — Libre Initiative, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners — are all advising the president to take the Democrats’ deal. Brent Gardner, a government affairs official for Americans for Prosperity, called the proposal “an offer all parties should immediately accept,” and Libre Initiative’s president, Daniel Garza, said “Congress and the White House should seize this chance.”
Nathan Nascimento, an executive vice president at Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, said, “If a deal was on the table that offered both security at the border and permanent status for Dreamers, that’s a deal that Republicans, Democrats and President Trump should support.”
Democrats’ offer came in response to a last-ditch attempt by the Trump administration to get border funding in the omnibus spending bill that must pass this week. The White House offered protections for Dreamers — recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA — through September 2020, according to people familiar with the talks, but Democrats were unwilling to strike a permanent deal on wall funding in exchange for a temporary solution for Dreamers.
After the weekend impasse, lawmakers said it was unlikely that any deal extending expired protections for the DACA recipients would be included in the spending deal. But Congress will probably have to return to the issue again in the future after the courts rule on Trump’s decision to rescind the program.