Trump’s views on immigration could not be more different from those of the Republican Party founder.Kelly O'Connell

The Republican Party co-founder Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party’s standard bearer in the 2016 election, Donald Trump could not hold more different views on the topic of immigration.

Trump has shown signs of relaxing his hardcore views but until we see the actual paperwork I will remain deeply sceptical. He is saying anything right now to get back in the race.

Lincoln was very comfortable among immigrants, believing they added greatly to the work force. Indeed, he was surrounded by immigrants most of his life. Half of the population of Springfield, Illinois, were either German or Irish immigrants. His children were reared by Irish nannies who Mrs. Lincoln often complained about. Lincoln apparently learned Emmet's Speech From The Dock from one of them and would recite it ever after.

He likely also knew the most popular song of that era “Kathleen Mavourneen” (written by an Englishman for lonely Irish immigrants) about a young man leaving Ireland and his beloved. Ironically it was beloved on the rebel side where far fewer Irish fought.

Lincoln’s army was composed of immigrants from many countries and most notably Ireland, where up to 200,000 soldiers hailed from. At Gettysburg the Pennsylvania 69th mostly Irish immigrants, stopped Pickett’s Charge when it threatened to overcome Union lines and other Union soldiers had fled.

If the 69th had yielded the tide of battle would have turned and Robert E. Lee would have lead a Confederate march on Washington. It was the turning point of the war. With the Irish in that fight were European jews and Germans.

Thus Lincoln came to value emigration greatly. At his own insistence, Lincoln assisted in the writing of the 1864 platform for National Union on immigration at the Republican Party congress in Baltimore.

Read More: Here's what Abraham Lincoln would have to say about Donald Trump

He insisted that the following sentence be included in their platform stating: “That foreign immigration, which in the past has added so much to the wealth, development of resources and increase of power to this nation, the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy…”

As a re-elected president, Lincoln’s Act to Encourage Immigration was passed on July 4, 1864, the only law ever passed calling for more immigration.

“A liberal disposition towards this great national policy is manifested by most of the European States,” wrote Lincoln, “and ought to be reciprocated on our part by giving immigrants effective national protection. I regard our emigrants as one of the principal replenishing streams which are appointed by Providence to repair the ravages of internal war, and its wastes of national strength and health.”

As for Señor Trump here is the 2016 Republican platform:

“America’s immigration policy must serve the national interest of the United States, and the interests of American workers must be protected over the claims of foreign nationals seeking the same jobs.”

(Sure Americans are lining up to work at chicken plucking, beef boning, apple picking, landscaping, baby minding, housekeeping, cooking, table bussing, or as exploited construction workers.)

Image by Kelly O'Connell

Image by Kelly O'Connell

The Trump platform continues: “With all our fellow citizens, we have watched, in anger and disgust, the mocking of our immigration laws by a president who made himself superior to the will of the nation. We oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it. The executive amnesties of 2012 and 2014 are a direct violation of federal law and usurp the powers of Congress as outlined in Article I of the Constitution. These unlawful amnesties must be immediately rescinded by a Republican president.... the presence of millions of unidentified individuals in this country poses grave risks to the safety and sovereignty of the United States.”

In Trump’s America immigrants are drug dealers and rapists, judges descended from immigrants are incapable of ruling fairly, walls will be built to keep people out. All Muslim immigration will be stopped. Incredibly, American Ebola victims infected abroad, will not be allowed into the United States

One can only imagine Lincoln looking at these modern attempts at law and order and wondering if the anti-Irish and anti-immigrant Know Nothings of his era. who he passionately opposed had taken over his country. He would not be far from the truth.