Update, August 15, 8:35 pm:

Regarding Cuccinelli's claim that the Statue of Liberty poem was meant to welcome European immigrants only, see also, Amanda Marcotte in Salon (August 14):

Ken Cuccinelli's new frontiers in racism: "Real Americans are "people coming from Europe"

My earlier comment follows below:

Donald Trump obviously hired his new acting USCIS director ("acting" in order to avoid the need for Senate confirmation) Ken Cuccinelli to "act" as a defender and apologist for the president's white supremacist immigration agenda (rather than as the head of an agency which is supposed to be making fair and unbiased decisions about legal immigration applications). But Cuccinelli's gross distortions of America's immigration history are only doing more to lay bare the obvious bigotry against brown immigrants that lies at the heart of the entire Trump-Miller immigration agenda.

As I mentioned in my August 13 comment, Cuccinelli began his mangled interpretation of immigration history by attempting to justify Trump and Miller's racially motivated Public Charge rule by saying that the same grounds were once used to bar Italian immigrants [and other immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe] 100 years ago.

But does that makes it acceptable to revive this,old form of bigotry to use against non-European immigrants now? However, While trying to defend Trump and miller's immigration agenda, Cuccinelli's comment only highlighted how white supremacist that agenda really is.

But, Cuccinelli was not content to stop there. On August 13, he decided that it was time to rewrite the famous poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty itself - a poem which not only stands as an affirmation of the shared humanity of all people - immigrants and Americans - but is a shining symbol of America itself as a country of freedom and justice for all.

The following is a verbatim extract from the transcript of an CNN interview with Cuccinelli, as reported by Real Clear Politics:


First,CNN anchor Burnett called Cuccinelli out for reading into the poem a requirement for immigrants which the poem nowhere mentions:

"CUCCINELLI: Self Sufficiency.

BURNETT: But the poem doesn't say that. Right.The poem that's on the Statue of Liberty.

CUCCINELLI: I didn't bring up the poem. I didn't bring up the poem. NPR reporter did and now you have. I didn't bring it up.I'll answer your substantive intelligent questions. Please ask one."

But the USCIS acting director's reluctance to talk about the Statue of Liberty poem after being caught trying to distort its meaning didn't last very long.

Immediately afterward, Burnett made asked the following question:


The poem reads give me your , your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of the teeming shore, send these, the homeless -tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Wretched refuse, right? That's what the poem says America is suppose to stand for. So what do you think America stands for?

CUCCINELLI: Well, of course, that poem was referring back t people from Europe where thy had class based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren't in the right class."

So now we learn, from the same USCIS acting director who is tasked with making fair and unbiased decision on application for legal immigration benefits by people from every part of the world that Lady Liberty's welcome is meant only for immigrants from Europe!

But that is not all. In the same interview, Cuccinelli also "enlightens" us to the previously unknown "fact" that the bigoted Public Charge rule, which was once used to keep out Italian, Irish, Jewish and Asian immigrants, and is now being revived by Trump and Miller to keep out nonwhite immigrants is actually included by implication in Emma Lazarus' world famous poem!

Here is Cuccinelli's explanation, according tto the interview transcript:

"And it [Public Charge] was introduced - it was written one year after the first public charge rule was written...and the year it [the Lazarus poem] went on the Statue of Liberty, 1903, another federal law was passed expanding the elements of public charge by Congress."


So now it turns out, in the Era of Donald Trump, Stephen Miler and Ken Cuccinelli, that Lady Liberty is not really the Statue of Liberty at all, but the Statue of Europe-only immigration, and the Statue of exclusion of all other immigrants on Public Charge grounds.

Maybe Lady Liberty has no choice - otherwise Donald Trump might "Send Her Back!"

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law