Darryl Paulson: Amnesty Don – Florida Politics (blog)
Amnesty Don. That’s what Steve Bannon and Breitbart News called President Donald Trump after news came out that the president and the Democratic leadership of Congress brokered a deal concerning the Dreamers.
According to reports, Trump struck a deal with Democratic leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer and Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi. The supposed deal was to grant work visas and a pathway to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants. Democrats agreed to bolster the number of immigration agents, but refused to support building a wall on the Mexican border.
After conservative critics ranging from Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Congressman Steven King and others attacked Trump for striking an amnesty deal with Democrats, Trump denied that any deal had been reached.
Immigration policy has always been one of the most divisive issues in America. Much of the early controversy centered around the Irish and German immigrants, both associated with the Catholic Church. The attack on the Irish and German Catholics led to the formation of the “Know-Nothing Party in the 1850s.
The party derived its name when members were asked about their beliefs, they were told to respond, “I know nothing.” Founded after the collapse of the Whig Party, the Know-Nothing Party swept Massachusetts elections in 1854. In the 1856 presidential election, their candidate was former Whig president Millard Fillmore, who won 21.5 percent of the vote. The party collapsed after the 1856 elections.
Many critics of current anti-immigrants attempt to link their views to the Know-Nothing Party. In a 2006 editorial in The Weekly Standard, editor William Kristol attacked populous Republicans for “turning the GOP into an anti-immigrant, Know-Nothing Party.”
In addition to the attacks on the Irish and Germans, later attacks focused on Southern Europeans, Africans and Asians. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in the