Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services and longtime fucker, apparently thinks the poem on the Statue of Liberty that welcomes immigrants to America’s shores could use a little update.
The Emma Lazarus poem, “The New Colossus,” has been mounted at the base of the Statue of Liberty since 1903. It famously reads, in part:
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
But Cuccinelli believes that it’s outdated. He told NPR that the poem should be changed to, “give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge.”
In other words, the Statue of Liberty should have a bootstraps mentality:
This tracks, as Cuccinelli announced on Monday that the Trump administration will implement a new rule that would make it more difficult for green card holders to become permanent residents if they use benefits like Medicaid, food stamps, or Section 8 housing vouchers. This new “public charge” rule not only makes it harder for low-income immigrants residing within the United States to maintain or advance their immigration status, but it also makes it even harder for low-income immigrants to come to the United States in the first place.
When asked by NPR’s Rachel Martin if this new rule—set to go into effect on October 15—diminishes the characterization of America as a land where one can show up with nothing and become something, Cuccinelli said: no, it doesn’t.
From the New York Post:
Cuccinelli said [the public charge] does not alter what makes America “exceptional.”
“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. “It is a privilege we’ve offered to people all around the world for the entire duration of our history, but that privilege starts with certain expectations.”
The people coming in, he said, should “not be a burden on the taxpayers or the government.”
Under the Trump administration, the only good immigrants are rich and preferably white. Anyone who doesn’t fit that mold—whether they’re a citizen or not—is disposable.