Monday, 19 August, 2019

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

National Park Service National Park Service
Anna Jefferson | 13 August, 2019, 20:14

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

Director of Citizen and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli suggested a little tweak to the famous Emma Lazarus "give me your exhausted, your poor" poem on NPR Morning Edition Tuesday.

Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli is under fresh fire on Tuesday after telling NPR in an interview that the famous words engraved on the U.S. Statue of Liberty-based on the poem by Emma Lazarus-should be re-cast with a qualifier when it comes to the kinds of people arriving at the nation's shores seeking refuge or welcome.

On Tuesday, Mr Cuccinelli was asked by NPR whether the 1883 poem titled The New Colossus at the Statue of Liberty on New York's Ellis Island still applied.

"They certainly are", Cuccinelli replied, but then amended the excerpt in notably less poetic language: "Give me your exhausted and your poor - who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge".

It's not the first time anti-immigration hardliners in President Donald Trump's administration have had to explain how Trump's harsh crackdowns on legal immigration reconcile with the Statue of Liberty's message.

Kenneth Cuccinelli: "Through the public charge rule, President Trump's administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America".

Trump's "public charge" rule is set to go into effect in October.

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With the new rules, officers at U.S. citizenship and immigration services will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.

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

Those who do not meet income standards or who are deemed likely to rely on benefits such as Medicaid (government-run healthcare) or housing vouchers in future may be blocked from entering the country.

"It is a privilege to become an American, not a right, for anybody who is not already an American citizen", he said on the show.

- House Homeland Security Committee (@HomelandDems) August 13, 2019 This is absurd, historically inaccurate, ableist, and shockingly devoid of humanity and compassion.

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

"Very interesting timing", Cuccinelli said.

"So I think we're doing it right".

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