Ken Cuccinelli, the Trump administration’s appearing head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers, defended its new rule successfully barring authorized immigrants on authorities advantages reminiscent of meals stamps and Medicaid from changing into everlasting residents by suggesting that the Statue of Liberty ought to learn: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet.”
In an interview Tuesday on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Cuccinelli repeatedly claimed that “it doesn’t seem like too much to ask,” arguing that “self-sufficiency is central to the American value set, and it’s also central to our immigration history.”
“If they don’t have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them,” he stated. “It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that we have Americans here who aren’t likely to go on welfare.”
When host Rachel Martin pressed him on precisely which immigrants could be welcome to the U.S., he replied: “All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, [be] self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps — again, as in the American tradition,” happening to quote “his Italian-Irish heritage.”
“Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus’ words etched on the Statue of Liberty, ‘give me your tired, your poor,’ are also part of the American ethos?” Martin requested, after noting that many immigrants all through historical past have come to the U.S. “with nothing.”
“They certainly are,” Cuccinelli stated. “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge.”
“We invite people to come here and join us as a privilege,” Cuccinelli stated later. “No one has a right to become an American who isn’t born here as an American. America has generously opened its doors.”
When given a chance to make clear, Cuccinelli asserted that “it is a privilege to become an American, not a right, for anybody who is not already an American citizen.”
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