Trump 'tired' of poor immigrants using welfare

Clay Curtis
August 14, 2019

According to the regulations, when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service decides whether to issue a permanent residence permit (green card), it will consider whether the applicant has received public welfare as a factor in consideration of his or her education, income, and health status.

"They certainly are", Cuccinelli replied.

Trump's "public charge" rule is set to go into effect in October.

The acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during an interview Tuesday rewrote the iconic poem by Emma Lazarus on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal to suggest that only immigrants who can "stand on their own two feet" are welcome in the country.

The acting immigration head also addressed Lazarus' poem during Monday's announcement, when he was asked if the words should be removed in the wake of the new rule.

Schoolchildren nationwide are often taught Emma Lazarus's sonnet "The New Colossus", which reads, in part, "Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free".

"All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps", would be welcome, he added.

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USA law has long discouraged immigrants from ending up on the public dole, and the new rules law out a method for doing that.

"Is that sentiment ― "Give us your exhausted, your poor" ― still operative in the United States, or should those words come down?" "That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at nearly the same time as the first public charge was passed - very interesting timing". "That self-sufficiency is a core American value, and it is central to the objective of this rule". "Well, I'm certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty", he told reporters.

It's not the first time anti-immigration hardliners in President Donald Trump's administration have had to explain how Trump's harsh crackdowns on legal immigration reconcile with the Statue of Liberty's message.

Asked two years ago about the proposed skills-based changes - which ultimately weren't passed - White House senior adviser Stephen Miller shrugged off a question from CNN's Jim Acosta about whether the Trump administration's efforts amounted to an effort to "change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country".

"I don't want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world", Miller said.

Asked about Mr Cuccinelli's remarks on Tuesday, President Trump did not directly respond to the Statue of Liberty quote, but said: "I don't think it's fair to have the American taxpayer pay for people to come into the United States".

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