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Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”


Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, speaks during a briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Trump administration official says that the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcoming immigrants into the country is about “people coming from Europe” and that America is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”


The comments on Tuesday from Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, came a day after the Trump administration announced it would seek to deny green cards to migrants who seek Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance.


“This administration finally admitted what we’ve known all along: They think the Statue of Liberty only applies to white people,” tweeted former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate.


Cuccinelli said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday night that the Emma Lazarus poem emblazoned on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty referred to “people coming from Europe where they had class based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class.”

Lazarus’ poem, written in 1883 to raise money to construct the Statue of Liberty’s.


It reads,


“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”

Cuccinelli was asked earlier Tuesday on NPR whether the words “give me your tired, your poor” were part of the American ethos. Cuccinelli said: “They certainly are. Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”


President Donald Trump, asked Tuesday about Cuccinelli’s comments on NPR, appeared to back him up.


“I don’t think it’s fair to have the American taxpayer paying for people to come into the United States,” President Donald Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One for Pennsylvania. “I think we’re doing it right.”

14th August 2019

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