Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has offered a rewrite of the sonnet inscribed below the iconic New York City statue. During a radio interview yesterday, he intimated that Emma Lazarus’ The New Colossus should say, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” That aligns with Monday’s immigration rule denying legal migrants residency if they’re poor or receive public assistance.
Have times changed? When it was published in 1883, Cuccinelli noted, “that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe” — a distinction some see as racist.