First Donald Trump’s appearing director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Companies company, Ken Cuccinelli, defined that we should always add a couple of phrases to the poem on the Statue of Liberty. Now he has a complete new rewrite of Emma Lazarus’ “The New Colossus,” and this one is colossally racist.
Lazarus’ poem says “Give me your drained, your poor, Your huddled lots craving to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Ship these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I carry my lamp beside the golden door!” However on Tuesday morning Cuccinelli claimed that meant “Give me your drained and your poor who can stand on their very own two ft, and who is not going to turn out to be a public cost.” And on Tuesday night time, he took it a step additional, saying the poem was “referring again to folks coming from Europe.”
Presumably in an effort to sound rather less racist—and right here we should always word that the ship lengthy since sailed in relation to Ken Cuccinelli not sounding racist—Cuccinelli then supplied a historical past lesson wherein these folks coming from Europe had been coming from “class-based societies, the place folks had been thought of wretched in the event that they weren’t in the precise class.” And, uh, did “homeless” have a unique which means, too, Ken? Did “refuse” have a unique which means? However to Cuccinelli “this”—insurance policies excluding folks not deemed ok—“is a central a part of our American heritage.” Which it’s! A f’cking racist half! Utilizing early 20th-century racism to justify 21st-century racism isn’t a successful argument, or no less than not an ethical one.
Right here, CNN’s Erin Burnett interrupted Cuccinelli to speak about how her household got here to the U.S. “as crofters from Scotland. They’d no training, that they had nothing. However I’m right here as a result of they had been allowed in, and I’m an anchor on CNN.” Cuccinelli agreed, speaking about his Italian grandfather sponsoring cousins to return into the U.S. “It is a custom that a lot of our households, yours and mine can level to.”
Yeah, Ken. You already know who can’t level to the custom of needy relations discovering welcome and alternative within the U.S. within the time interval of “The New Colossus” and people first public cost legal guidelines you’re hanging your new coverage on? Individuals descended from all of the non-European international locations that had been sharply restricted and even banned by the immigration legal guidelines of the early 20th century. He’s actually reminiscent of a time when immigration regulation was deeply and explicitly racialized—racist—and utilizing that to justify immigration insurance policies that exclude the individuals who most have to immigrate right here, saying that the U.S. lifts its lamp beside the golden door solely to individuals who have already got some gold of their very own to purchase their approach by the door. That is the Trump administration on immigration, now: Let’s adhere solely to the racist and exclusionary elements of U.S. immigration historical past, and ignore the teachings of our personal impoverished and uneducated ancestors who acquired in as a result of they had been European.