Thousands from ‘huddled masses’ rejected as paupers in year poem added to Statue of Liberty

The Washington Times

The same year that Emma Lazarus‘ poem welcoming the world’s “poor” and “huddled masses” was added to the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. government rejected 5,812 of those same new arrivals for being poor. In his annual report to Congress in 1903, U.S. Immigration Commissioner William Williams warned that too many immigrants were “entering this country with inadequate sums of money,” leaving the system with thousands of charity cases and sinking the country’s standard of living. More than a century later, the debate between those who subscribe to Lazarus‘ optimistic view and those who take Williams‘ more cautious approach to immigration is playing out again — this time over the Trump administration’s rules looking to discourage immigrants who are likely to end up on the public dole. Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, laid out guidelines this week under which a migrant would be deemed likely to become a public charge.

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