trump official says statue of liberty welcome poem only refers to people coming from europe sur

Trump official says Statue of Liberty welcome poem only refers to 'people coming from Europe.'


Aug. 14 2019, Updated 2:49 p.m. ET

A Trump official has admitted out loud what we've known all along: that the Trump administration sees European and Latinx immigrants differently.

It all started with a new "public charge" immigration requirement that the administration announced on Monday. The public charge requirement states that migrants will only be granted entry to the U.S. if they won't be seeking public funds or resources, like public housing or food stamps. This rule goes into effect Oct. 15, according to CBS News.

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Some have pointed out that this new mindset is at odds with the famous poem "The New Colossus," which is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. The poem — which you may have heard once or twice — includes the lines, "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!"

Rachel Martin of NPR pointed this out to Trump's acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday, asking him if he believes these words are "part of the American ethos."

His response: "Uh, they certainly are." He then took the liberty (sorry) of remixing the poem and adding a little Republican flavor: "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."

Doesn't quite have the same ring as Emma Lazarus' 1882 version, does it?

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Later on Tuesday night, things veered into even more blatantly racist territory.

Cuccinelli went on CNN and was asked about the poem again. His response:

Well, of course, that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe where they had class-based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren't in the right class.

Here's video of his response.

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"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses but only if they're from Europe" is not how the poem goes, pal.

Of course, it seems lost on Cuccinelli that "people coming from Europe" and people coming from Latin-American countries are often fleeing the exact same thing, from the 19th century to today: corrupt governments and bad economies.

And they're often looking for the same things, too: a shot at a better future. Where they're coming from has no real effect on that — unless you're a white supremacist.

Beto O'Rourke said it succinctly in a tweet, writing, "This administration finally admitted what we’ve known all along: They think the Statue of Liberty only applies to white people."


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