The pitch to voters in swing congressional districts is aimed at reminding Latino voters which vulnerable Republican and Democratic congressmen are supporting Dreamers.
What the mailers don't say is that they come from a group with close ties to the conservative Koch brothers.
The mailers prompt voters to thank each congressman for "supporting a permanent solution for Dreamers" and to ask them to "keep working for a permanent solution that provides certainty for Dreamers and security for our borders."
The mailer is sent by the LIBRE Initiative, which bills itself as a "non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of a free and open society to empower the U.S. Hispanic community." And the last part, about border security, is controversial among Democrats.
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The notices are being sent to voters in the political districts of Reps. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., David Valadao, R-Calif., Will Hurd, R-Texas, Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., as well as two other Republican House members and three GOP senators. Mailers are also going out to districts or states represented by five Democrats, including Reps. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., and Pete Aguilar, D-Calif. All Democrats supported by the mailer are in safely Democratic districts, while the Republicans tend to be more vulnerable in 2018.
The LIBRE Initiative received $15.8 million in funding from the conservative billionaire Koch brothers' nonprofit Freedom Partners between 2011 and 2015, according to the New York Times. Wadi Gaitan, a spokesman for LIBRE, declined to say if Freedom Partners was LIBRE's primary source of funding.
The Koch brothers also give large contributions to candidates who oppose citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The mailers are exactly what some Democrat groups feared when the LIBRE Initiative started in 2011. Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions, which researches Latino political opinions, accused the group of purposely confusing voters.
"It's completely disingenuous to get funding from the Koch brothers, who spend a lot more money giving to candidates who oppose action for Dreamers," Barreto said. "If LIBRE really wanted to help the Latino community, they'd have the Koch brothers stop funding candidates who are doing more harm to Latino interests more than anything else."
Gaitan said LIBRE supports border security because its primary goal was to get a permanent solution for Dreamers that President Donald Trump would sign. Dreamers are immigrants who came to the country as undocumented minors. Many grew up in the United States having little knowledge of the countries where they were born.
Since Trump has indicated he wants $25 billion for a wall on the Mexico border, LIBRE has called for that amount in funding for border security, though Gaitan said they don't think that needs to be a wall. The funding, he said, could go towards technology and increased staffing, for example.
"We're always willing to work with anyone who's willing to do the right thing, and are willing to fight for our values on immigration," Gaitan said in response to criticisms over Koch funding.
Denham and Valadao are trying to force a vote on immigration reform, but face reluctance from Republican House leadership. The congressmen are part of a small group of Republicans that signed a petition in order to force debate on certain immigration bills on the floor. Some include a path to citizenship for Dreamers and increased border security.
Gaitan said while LIBRE recognizes those efforts, the mailers are primarily a response to members of Congress who support the USA Act, which has a special path to citizenship for Dreamers and also includes funding for additional border security.
Both Denham and Valadao represent districts with large Latino populations that were won by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Of particular concern to Democrats is the nonprofit arm of the LIBRE Initiative, called the LIBRE Institute. It has given free flu shots, Thanksgiving turkeys, driver's test preparation in Spanish, tax preparation aid, wellness checkups, citizenship classes and other help to the Latino community across 12 states, including Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada. It does not operate in California now, according to Gaitan.
The political action committee arm of LIBRE is waging a seven-figure ad campaign this election cycle to call for action on a "permanent, bipartisan solution that would provide certainty for Dreamers and improvements to strengthen our border."
"Democrats should be worried about this. The average household doesn't have the time to connect the dots or know who the Koch brothers are," Barreto said.
"It's difficult to disentangle the names, and it's certain these groups are doing this on purpose," he added.