The Koch Network and the George W. Bush Presidential Center are partnering on an interactive immigration exhibit aimed at countering stereotypes and promoting immigration reform.
The big picture: The partnership — to be announced Tuesday — between the right-wing network's philanthropic arm, Stand Together, and the Dallas center comes as Congress is expected to debate immigration reform proposals amid resistance from many Republicans.
The details: The "Common Ground: Immigration Pop-Up Exhibit" features nine stand-alone doors signifying popular proposals about reforming immigration as told through interactive video stories.
- When users open the multimedia doors, the exhibition takes them through a journey seeking to link immigrants and non-immigrants.
- The exhibit also will highlight polling data showing over 75% of Americans believe immigration is a good thing, or that three in five Americans support a plan providing citizenship for Dreamers.
- "I set out to accomplish two things: to share some portraits of immigrants, each with a remarkable story I try to tell, and to humanize the debate on immigration and reform," Bush recently wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
- Bush also told CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell the immigration system was one of the biggest disappointments of his presidency.
- “I campaigned on immigration reform,” said Bush, who cast himself as a "compassionate conservative" throughout his campaigns and two terms. “I made it abundantly clear to voters this is something I intended to do.”
What they're saying: “Immigration signifies the exceptional success of our nation as the land of opportunity," Laura Collins, director of the Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, said in a statement. "When we welcome people who share our unwavering determination and optimism, we can remain a hopeful and prosperous society."
The intrigue: The Koch Network is alternately described as libertarian or conservative. It was founded by Charles and the late David Koch, Kansans who controlled Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States.
- Through its many groups like the Americans for Prosperity Foundation and The LIBRE Institute, it has been pushing for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform for years.
- The network has argued immigration reform was needed to build economies in parts of the U.S.