A top US immigration official has revised a quote inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in defence of a new policy that denies food aid to legal migrants.
The head of Citizenship and Immigration Services tweaked the passage: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.
The official added the words “who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge”.
It comes as Trump officials debuted a regulation that denies aid to migrants.
Ken Cuccinelli, the Trump administration’s acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced on Monday a new “public charge” requirement that limits legal migrants from seeking certain public benefits such as public housing or food aid, or are considered likely to do so in the future.
The new regulation, known as a “public charge rule”, was published in the Federal Register on Monday and will take effect on 15 October.
The rule change is intended to reinforce “ideals of self-sufficiency”, officials said. Critics argue that it will prevent low-income US residents from seeking help.
What did the official say?
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.
“Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus’s words etched on the Statue of Liberty, ‘Give me your tired, give me your poor,’ are also a part of the American ethos?” asked NPR’s Rachel Martin.
“They certainly are,” Mr Cuccinelli responded. “Give me your tired and your poor – who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
“That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at almost the same time as the first public charge [law] was passed – very interesting timing,” he added.
The actual passage reads in part: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
In the interview, he added that immigrants are welcome “who can stand on their own two feet, be self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps, again, as in the American tradition”.
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‘Uncle Tom’ Trends On Twitter After RNC Trots Out Black Men To Deny Trump’s Racism
Whether through sheer coincidence — or not — “Uncle Tom” was one of the top trending topics on Twitter Tuesday morning following the opening night of the Republican National Convention (RNC) that featured several Black men making the case for Donald Trump to be re-elected.
More than 6,000 “Uncle Tom” tweets were posted following speeches from Democratic Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones, former professional football star Herschel Walker and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. They each took turns trying to dispel any notion of racism in America or among its leadership despite Trump’s repeated personal demonstrations to the contrary.
“The Democratic Party does not want Black people to leave their mental plantation,” Jones, who has been called an “embarrassment” to Democrats, said Monday night at the RNC. “We’ve been forced to be there for decades and generations. But I have news for Joe Biden: We are free. We are free people with free minds.”
Walker, who was one of Trump’s employees when he played in the USFL — another of Trump’s failed business ventures — said his “soul” was hurt when he learned people called the president racist.
“I take it as a personal insult that people think I would have a 37-year friendship with a racist,” Walker said Monday night with a straight face during his official endorsement of Trump’s re-election.
“These shots pierce the soul of our nation,” stated Biden on Jacob Blake shooting
Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden issued a statement Monday morning on the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
“Yesterday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back as police attempted to restrain him from getting into his car,” the statement reads. “His children watched from inside the car and bystanders watched in disbelief. And this morning, the nation wakes up yet again with grief and outrage that yet another Black American is a victim of excessive force. This calls for an immediate, full and transparent investigation and the officers must be held accountable.”
A short video circulating on social media shows a man, presumably Blake, walking toward a vehicle. The video shows that police shoot the man in the back as he opened the driver’s door of the car.
“These shots pierce the soul of our nation,” stated Biden. “Jill and I pray for Jacob’s recovery and for his children.”
“Equal justice has not been real for Black Americans and so many others,” the statement continues. “We are at an inflection point. We must dismantle systemic racism. It is the urgent task before us. We must fight to honor the ideals laid in the original American promise, which we are yet to attain: That all men and women are created equal, but more importantly that they must be treated equally.”
Protests erupted after the shooting Sunday. Fires were set to dumpsters meant to block off roads in the area. The Kenosha County Courthouse and Administration Building were both closed Monday due to overnight damage from the unrest.