Here's acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli saying on NPR this morning that the Statue of Liberty plaque should be changed to read, "give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge." pic.twitter.com/q8OoNn3k6r
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 13, 2019
I asked the president about the Statue of Liberty poem. He said: it’s not fair for the American taxpayer to pay for immigrants to come into the United States pic.twitter.com/hAjDCZXcvL
— Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) August 13, 2019
… This is not the first time the Trump administration’s effort to curtail legal immigration has brought it into public conflict with the Statue of Liberty. Back in August 2017, when the administration was pushing an ill-fated bill that would’ve restricted legal immigration while giving priority to fluent English speakers, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta grilled White House policy adviser Stephen Miller during a news conference about how “what the president is proposing here does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration. … The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”
Miller replied by trying to make a distinction between the statute and Lazarus’s poem, which wasn’t placed on it until years after the statue was installed in New York Harbor.
“I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty and lighting the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world,” Miller said. “The poem that you’re referring to, that was added later, is not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.”
Miller’s talking point didn’t really help matters, as it echoed one commonly used by white nationalists like David Duke and Richard Spencer to suggest that Lazarus somehow perverted the true meaning of the statue, which was a gift from France to the United States and originally conceived to be “a symbol of democratic government and Enlightenment ideals as well as a celebration of the Union’s victory in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery,” as the National Parks Service puts it…
Hilariously Cuccinelli was the guy leading the last ditch Ted Cruz floor fight at the RNC against Trump. Trump has every reason to despise him with one of his endless petty grudges. But they both love racism and cruelty more than their own dignity.
— Zeddy (@Zeddary) August 14, 2019
This is *not* what your mother taught you, Mr. Cuccinelli…
Ken Cuccinelli's mother told The Washington Post in 2013 that this is how he was raised: “As a matter of faith, care of the poor, of your neighbors, was always very conscious and upfront. If someone is starving, you want to bring him a meal, not a book on how to cook.” https://t.co/oU1EBtX9sR
— Matt Katz (@mattkatz00) August 13, 2019
And it’s not what the Founders wanted, either, so-called conservative ‘foundationalists”:
And here are Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts on the matter.
But maybe Ken Cuccinelli & Donald Trump are the guys to have really figured this out. pic.twitter.com/zGdpvDbnqs
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 14, 2019