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Koch network launches seven-figure ad campaign urging Congress to protect Dreamers

With the factions in Congress and the Trump administration unable to reach a deal to protect immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children, the Koch brothers' network is launching a seven-figure ad campaign urging the legislative branch to act.

The LIBRE Initiative and Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, two components of the network led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, are launching ads across national broadcast, cable and digital platforms, calling on Republicans and Democrats to find a permanent fix for Dreamers. This ad marks just the latest push from the Koch network for a legislative solution after President Trump announced the end of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The network's leaders praised a plan from Mr. Trump to fix DACA earlier this year, although they criticized any attempts to restrict legal immigration. But the plan failed, for which Mr. Trump has blamed Democrats.  

The ad, "What are we waiting for," will begin airing nationally on Sunday, and features addresses from former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush promoting immigration and security.

"Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants," Obama says.

"We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws," Clinton says.

"America can be a lawful society, and a welcoming society, at the same time," Bush says. 

The narrator concludes, "There's a bipartisan path forward on immigration that offers a permanent solution for our Dreamers and a stronger border. What are we waiting for? Certainty for Dreamers and security for everyone." 

What are we waiting for? by LIBRE Initiative on YouTube

The Koch network, as CBS News has previously reported, plans to spend upwards of $400 million on policy and politics by the end of the current election cycle. This latest ad push is one piece of that. The network is also spending $20 million on a campaign to push the benefits of tax reform. 

Mr. Trump announced the end of DACA in September, and the program officially ended in March, although the courts are still determining the future of DACA recipients. 

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.