It seems less and less likely that a border wall/Dream Act deal will be made in the omnibus spending bill negotiations continuing Tuesday ahead of a potential government shutdown Friday at midnight. The Trump administration has offered two-and-a-half years of protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status, in return for $25 billion in wall funding.
Democrats are insisting on permanent protections and a path to citizenship for all of the people who would qualify under DACA. They have an unlikely ally in that: the Kochs’ network of political action groups.
The Koch network has typically sided with the Trump administration on policy proposals, but on immigration, they have increasingly diverging views.
“We have long said that Congress and the White House should come together on a bipartisan agreement to provide the certainty of permanent statutory relief for the Dreamers in exchange for enhanced security for our nation,” said Daniel Garza, president of the LIBRE Initiative.
Brent Gardner, chief government affairs officer of Americans for Prosperity, added in the statement, “If news reports are true that the White House and congressional Democrats discussed including in the omnibus appropriations bill $25 billion for President Trump’s border request in exchange for a permanent solution for Dreamers, then that’s an offer all parties should immediately accept.”
The answer is probably in the fact that the Kochs are looking ahead, seeing the demographic trends and recognizing that they’ve got to start recruiting the growing Latino population. That or they want to make sure there’s always an immigrant labor force to count on. Because they certainly aren’t going to be championing the cause of immigrants out of the goodness of their hearts.
The Koch intervention hasn’t been enough to break through the funding bill impasse yet. But it could mean that maybe, just maybe, the prospect for action on DACA won’t die with the spending bill.