Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to defend immigration stance

Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to defend immigration stance

Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to defend immigration stance

When asked if Lazarus' words on the Statue of Liberty - "Give me your exhausted, your poor" - were still a part of the American ethos, Cuccinelli responded: "They certainly are", before adding that any "tired and poor" people who came to the USA should be able to "stand on their own two feet" and not "become a public charge". "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Under the regulation, an applicant who receives one or more designated forms of public assistance for more than 12 months in aggregate within a 36-month period would have that weigh against them in the process of getting a green card, Cuccinelli said.

"Give me your exhausted and your poor - who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge", he said.

Under the update, US immigration authorities will view applicants' use of government assistance programs as a negative mark against them when considering their eligibility for a temporary visa or a green card.

He insisted that the poem plaque was placed on the Statue of Liberty at nearly the same time as the first public charge law. NPR's Rachel Martin asked Cuccinelli on "Morning Edition" in an interview published Tuesday. Public health and social service providers report that immigrants are anxious about seeking medical and housing aid for themselves and their children, who may be US citizens.

The White House said in a statement on the same day that this provision would help ensure that immigrants were financially self-sufficient rather than relying on US public welfare to safeguard the interests of USA citizens.

Ken Cuccinelli was responding to a question about whether the updated regulations continued in the spirit of Emma Lazarus' sentiments in "The New Colossus" that are etched on the Statue of Liberty.

The report says the new rules will take effect from mid-October, 2019, and that they are likely to "have a wide impact in states with large immigrant communities, like California, where many families are made up of citizens and noncitizens alike".

Cuccinelli was asked about Lazarus' poem on Monday and whether the new immigration changes would merit its removal from the statue's pedestal.

In 2017, CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked White House adviser Stephen Miller how Trump's proposed immigration policy requiring certain skill levels squared with the poem that once greeted immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. Miller, one of the administration's most hardline immigration opponents, downplayed the importance of the poem.

He went on: "Secondly, I don't want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of American liberty lighting the world".

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