Trump's Director of Immigration Suggests Changing Statue of Liberty Slogan

Maricruz Casares
Agosto 13, 2019

In recent years, it's taken on new meaning as a rallying cry against President Trump's immigration policies.

A large proportion of immigrants from India are professional or relatives of professionals and the community as a whole is the highest-earning group with a median annual household income of over $110,000, according to the United States census bureau.

Cuccinelli was speaking to NPR's Rachel Martin about a new regulation he announced Monday that targets legal immigration.

"The true impact of the public charge rule - and perhaps one of the Trump administration's chief policy goals - is to create a "chilling effect" that frightens immigrant families into disenrolling from public benefits, even when the rule does not apply to them or their U.S. citizen children", he said.

"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.

Cuccinelli was asked whether the words from Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus" continue to be "part of the American ethos".

In an interview with NPR on Tuesday morning, Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was questioned about the administration's plan to curb legal immigration by denying green cards and citizenship to immigrants who use public benefits like food stamps or housing assistance.

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"I'm certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty", Cuccinelli replied.

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. "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Asked if that changes the definition of the American Dream, Cuccinelli said, "No one has a right to become an American who isn't born here as an American". "And who will not become a public charge".

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.

Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general, has long held a hard-line stance against immigration and asylum policies.

The White House said in a statement on the same day that this provision would help ensure that immigrants were financially self-sufficient rather than relying on US public welfare to safeguard the interests of USA citizens.

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

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