Tags: ken cuccinelli | immigration | statue of liberty

Immigration Head Reworks Statue of Liberty Poem

Immigration Head Reworks Statue of Liberty Poem

USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli talks to Members of the media at the White House. (Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 August 2019 12:59 PM

The acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during an interview Tuesday rewrote the iconic poem by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal to suggest that only immigrants who can "stand on their own two feet" are welcome in the country. 

Ken Cuccinelli was speaking to NPR about a new regulation he announced earlier in the week that denies green cards and visas to immigrants if they are deemed likely to need  government benefits, which could impact hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrive legally every year.

The last part of the poem by Lazarus on the statue’s pedestal reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

When NRP asked if these words are still part of the American ethos, Cuccinelli replied, "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."

Cuccinelli, who said the new rule will go into effect October 15, explained that "If they don't have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them," adding that "All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps," would be welcome.

Critics have denounced the regulation as an attempt to stem immigration and favor wealthy migrants, and it is expected to be challenged by immigration groups in court.

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The acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during an interview Tuesday rewrote the iconic poem by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal to suggest that only immigrants who can "stand on their own two feet" are welcome in the country.
ken cuccinelli, immigration, statue of liberty
259
2019-59-13
Tuesday, 13 August 2019 12:59 PM
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