Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates press Congress to pass immigration reform

July 11, 2014

Sheldon Adelson (Jerome Favre/Bloomberg News)

An unlikely trio of wealthy businessmen from different ends of the political spectrum have teamed up to press Congress to pass immigration reform.

In a New York Times op-ed, Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, acknowledging their political differences, write that if they can come together on immigration, then Congress should be able strike a deal.

"The three of us vary in our politics and would differ also in our preferences about the details of an immigration reform bill," they write. "But we could without doubt come together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us. We hope that fact holds a lesson: You don’t have to agree on everything to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement. It’s time that this brand of thinking finds its way to Washington."

Adelson, a conservative megadonor, is perhaps best known for spending heaps of cash supporting Newt Gingrich and later Mitt Romney in 2012. Adelson and his wife injected more than $92 million into the 2012 elections.

Buffett is best known in politics for supporting liberal causes and candidates. Gates has given money to both Democrats and Republicans.

The trio calls the path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the Senate-passed reform bill "sensible." It endorses the bill's provision to lift the cap on visas for immigrants with certain graduate degrees and employment offers.

"Whatever the precise provisions of a law, it’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self-interest. Differences with the Senate should be hammered out by members of a conference committee, committed to a deal," they write.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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