Aug 13, 2019

Ken Cuccinelli: "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet"

Ken Cuccinelli. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Ken Cuccinelli, the acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, tweaked the famous poem inside the Statue of Liberty during an interview on NPR's "Morning Edition" to defend the Trump administration's rule that would penalize immigrants who use or are likely to use public benefit programs such as food stamps, housing assistance or Medicaid.

"Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."

Emma Lazarus' original words from "The New Colossus":

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

The big picture: Cuccinelli said it "doesn't seem like too much to ask" for immigrants to be self-sufficient when coming to the U.S. after NPR's Rachel Martin asked him if the rule changes the definition of the American dream.

  • "It does not change what makes America exceptional. We invite people to come here and join us as a privilege," he said.

Go deeper: Trump administration to penalize immigrants likely to use public benefits

Go deeper

The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.