The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services dug himself into another hole on Tuesday evening.
After appearing to rewrite the famous Emma Lazarus poem emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet. And who will not become a public charge,” he told NPR earlier this week — Ken Cuccinelli told CNN that the poem was actually meant for Europeans.
“That poem was referring back to people coming from Europe where they had class-based societies — where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class,” he said, expounding on the history of the “public charge” rule that the Trump administration wants to reinvigorate.
Cuccinelli: Lazarus poem was referring to "people coming from Europe" pic.twitter.com/AVqn62f1BT
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 14, 2019
The move could curb legal immigration by restricting green cards for would-be immigrants who might use public funds, like welfare.