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Madeleine Albright blasts Ken Cuccinelli's Statue of Liberty comments as "un-American"

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a two-time refugee, blasted Ken Cuccinelli's rewording of the poem inside the Statue of Liberty as "one of the most un-American things that I’ve ever heard" during a CNN interview Wednesday.

The backdrop: Cuccinelli, the acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, came under fire this week for using the poem to defend the Trump administration's rule that would penalize immigrants who use or are likely to utilize public benefit programs.

  • Cuccinelli told NPR this week that the poem today could read: "Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."
  • "The New Colossus" actually reads: "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!"

Go deeper: Focus group: Trump's immigration edge