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The Meaning of the Poem...

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  • The Meaning of the Poem...

    'These iconic words from "The New Colossus" the 1883 poem written by American Emma Lazarus are etched in bronze and mounted on the Statue of Liberty's pedestal and have again been catapulted into a heated political debate on immigration.'

    'The Trump administration announced a "public charge" rule on Monday that could drastically limit legal immigration by denying green cards for those who qualify for food stamps, Medicaid, housing vouchers and various forms of public assistance.'

    'Some reporters invoked "The New Colossus" when asking acting Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services office Ken Cuccinelli about the new rule.'

    'In defending the policy on Tuesday,
    Cuccinelli suggested to NPR
    that those lines should be rewritten to say "give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."'

    'According to Alan Kraut, a professor of history at American University, language restricting immigration for those likely to become a public charge appeared in U.S. legislation as early as 1891, and throughout its history, the United States has courted immigrants but simultaneously "repelled them and was very not welcoming to [them] when they arrived."'

    'Since then, the Statue of Liberty has evoked passionate feelings as a symbol of freedom and immigration and America's push and pull with it.'

    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

  • #2


    • #3
      Something to keep in mind; the first 'public charge' rules came out with the first immigration law passed in 1882, a year before the Statue of Liberty plaque. Then as now a poem is not the law, congress needs to change the law if the people of the US don't want the law.


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