Bloggings on Immigration Law

by Roger Algase

Right Wing Billionaire Koch Brothers Support Immigration Reform. Will Other Right Wing Republicans Follow Their Lead?

There are few, if any, right wing figures whom liberals (including this writer) love to hate more than Charles Koch and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers who have a reputation for contributing to virtually every far right wing cause and candidate imaginable.

Therefore it is refreshing, to say the least, to see the Koch brothers being attacked as lefties on immigration. But this is exactly what an anti-reform columnist, Lee Stranahan, did in a May 10 article on the Breitbart blog. In his article Koch Sponsors Pro-Amnesty Buzzfeed Event, Stranahan accuses the Charles Koch Institute of loading up a May 14 forum on immigration reform with left wing immigration supporters. In Stranahan's words:

"At first, the panel appears diverse: the six invitees include a Democrat [sic] politician, a Republican politician, two members of conservative organizations, one from a liberal Hispanic/Latino organization and one from a libertarian think tank.

Looking closer, however, five of the invitees are strongly in favor of the comprehensive immigration reform/amnesty package being put forward by the "Gang of Eight" in Congress. Only one guest - from the Heritage Foundation - has been critical of the proposed immigration reform package. Additionally, an illegal immigrant who is an award-winning journalist will be assisting in broadcasting the event."

Stranahan adds:

"The mix of Buzzfeed and Charles Koch would be unusual on almost any other issue but the not-so-subtle goal of the event as demonstrated by the lineup has not gone unnoticed even beyond conservative circles."

However, the Koch Brothers, according to a Slate article quoted in Stranahan's piece, have consistently been pro immigration reform. the following is Stranahan's quote from a May 9 Slate article by Daniel Wiegel entitled Terrifying Koch brothers sponsor a boozy pro immigration reform panel.

Stranaghan quotes Wiegel as follows:

"[A}s a veteran of the Koch-funded Reason magazine, I can report that the libertarian brothers have always put their money behind immigration reform. Maybe that complicates their newfound (well, 3-year-old) role as all purpose rich guy demons; they're sponsoring a night of debates intended to nudge along immigration reform."

There may be significance to this, however, which could go beyond the apparent anomaly of the ultra-conservative Brothers K allying themselves with liberal groups, at least for a night, in order to promote immigration reform.

The fact that two of the largest and most high profile financial supporters of right wing politicians in America have chosen to back reform could be a message to conservative Republicans, especially those in the House, who are threatening to derail CIR.

The message from the Koch brothers may be that, at least with regard to future campaign contributions from rich right wing donors, the bell is tolling, not for reform, but for its opponents.


About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.