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The cruelty is the point: Trump official suggests change to Emma Lazarus’s Statue of Liberty poem.

Jonny Diamond

August 13, 2019, 2:22pm

We used to think of id-bearing moments like this as the mask slipping off, but when acting director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli suggested yesterday that Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus”—as much a part of American self-mythologizing as dungarees and Sbarro slices—should be updated to more restrictive language, it was a pretty earnest reflection of what the Trump Administration truly believes about America’s place in the world. Cuccinelli’s impromptu workshop critique followed on the heels of the administration’s new policy further limiting legal immigration based on the economic status of the applicant. His new verse?

Give me your tired and your poor
who can stand on their own two feet and
who will not become a public charge

Look, you shouldn’t need an economic argument to justify the moral good of welcoming those in search of a decent life for themselves and their children, but here’s one from noted pinko rag Forbes, if you (or your Facebook uncle) need it. In the meantime—and I say this is as someone whose green card is up for renewal in a couple years—fuck you, Ken!

Here’s the original poem in all its full-throated, big-hearted glory (courtesy Poets.org).

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