Published: Tue, August 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to make case for limiting immigration

Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to make case for limiting immigration

The so-called public charge rule would penalize immigrants seeking benefits including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers by allowing officials to deny green cards and visa applications to those individuals.

Steve Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, responded to the announcement, saying, "This rule essentially says that for anyone who isn't white, isn't wealthy, that you must forego food, you must forego shelter and basic medical care".

The famous words on the pedestal of the State of Liberty, "Give me your exhausted, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free", were written by Emma Lazarus in 1883.

The acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services on Tuesday modified the poem on the Statue of Liberty to include being able to "stand on their own two feet" in defense of the Trump administration's new rules for green cards.

"They certainly are", the acting USCIS chief replied.

"When it comes to immigration, the Statue of Liberty says, 'Give me your exhausted, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, '" Acosta said. "That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at nearly the same time as the first public charge was passed - very interesting timing".

Cuccinelli, during an interview with NPR, argued it's the "American tradition" that immigrants welcomed into the country be those who are "self-sufficient, can pull themselves up from their bootstraps".

The new rule will go into effect October 15, and only government aid used after that point will be assessed, Cuccinelli said.


After the host asked if the policy "appears to change the definition of the American dream", he said: "We invite people to come here and join us as a privilege".

But the new rules will affect those Indians who are not well-off and maybe using public benefits or appear likely to require them.

It also does not apply to refugees and asylum applicants.

On Tuesday, Cuccinelli described the public charge as a "burden on the government".

US President Donald Trump has said that he wants to introduce a merit-based immigration system that would favour those who are well-educated or have special skills.

Others pointed to his background as the attorney general of Virginia, in which he led a conservative campaign against immigration and homosexuality.

"If they don't have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them", Cuccinelli said.

"I'm exhausted of seeing our taxpayer paying for people to come into the country and immediately go onto welfare and various other things".

Like this: