Top White House reporter asks if Trump will erase ‘Give me your tired, your poor’ from Statue of Liberty


Steve Portno, White House Correspondents’ Association president-elect and correspondent for CBS News Radio, asked U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli during a press conference Monday if the Trump administration was abandoning the welcome to immigrants enshrined on the Statue of Liberty.

“As along as the public charge rule as been in effect since the late 1800s there’s also been — almost as long — the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty that read, ‘Give us your tired, your poor.’ You’re implementing a public charge rule for the first time. Is that sentiment, ‘Give us your tired, your poor,’ still operative in the United States or should those words come down? Should the plaque come down on the Statue of Liberty?” Portno asked, referring to The New Colossus poem by Emma Lazarus, which sits on a pedestal at the statue.

The question was a response to the Trump administration’s policy refusing green cards to those who rely on government assistance. The Department of Homeland Security agency formally submitted an update Monday to a 1999 rule that expands the definition of a “public charge,” a term the government uses to indicate a noncitizen who has a history of receiving long-term financial or other assistance.

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