Watch: Reporter Asks Cuccinelli if Statue of Liberty Poem ‘Still Operative’

Monday at a press conference at the White House, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli was asked if the plaque with the poem “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus at the base of the Statue of Liberty was “still operative.”

A reporter asked, “The second question has to do with the fact that as long as the the public charge rule has been an effect since the late 1800’s, there has been, almost as long, the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty that read ‘give us your tired, your poor.’ You are implementing a public charge rule for the first time. Is that sentiment, ‘give us your tired, your poor’ still operative in the Untied States or should those word come down? Should that plaque come down off the State of Liberty?”

Cuccinelli said, “I’m certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty. We have a long history of being one of the most wealthy nations in the world on a lot of bases whether you be an asylee or whether you come here to join your family or immigrating yourself. This rule will cover almost 400,000 people per year whose applications to become legal permanent residents will include a meaningful analysis of whether they are likely to become a public charge or not. I don’t think by any means we are ready to take anything off the Statue of Liberty.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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