Acting head of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli on Tuesday made a tweak to Emma Lazarus' famous poem etched onto the Statue of Liberty while rationalizing the Trump administration's new "public charge" rule, which could restrict green cards to low-income legal immigrants who use public benefits.
"Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus's words etched on the Statue of Liberty, 'Give me your exhausted, give me your poor, ' are also a part of the American ethos?"
"I also expect lawsuits from individuals who say that, at the end of the day, if Congress provided certain benefits to be accessible by certain groups of immigrants, that meant that they did not want them then banned under the public charge rule", Fresco told NPR.
He insisted that the poem plaque was placed on the Statue of Liberty at nearly the same time as the first public charge law.
On Monday, the Trump administration announced the new "public charge" rule requiring immigration officials to take into account whether an immigrant is "primarily dependent on the government for subsistence" when applying for a visa or an adjustment to permanent resident status.
NPR's Rachel Martin asked him if that new rule changes the idea of the American dream of being able to come to the country with nothing and still find success.
The final version of the "public charge" rule is scheduled to be published Wednesday in the Federal Register.
Who will be affected by the new rule?In addition, immigrants who have lower incomes or less formal education could be denied permanent status if deemed more likely to need public assistance in the future.
An estimated 22 million legal residents in the U.S. are without citizenship, and many of these are likely to be affected. This latest move is part of his government's efforts to curb legal immigration.
Cuccinelli is a xenophobic, anti-immigrant fringe figure who has no business being in government.
The Democratic led House Homeland Security Committee condemned Mr Cuccinelli's revision in a tweet, calling the words "vile and un-American".
Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general, has long held a hard-line stance against immigration and asylum policies.
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, speaks during a briefing at the White House on August 12 in Washington.
Legit.ng earlier reported that President Donald Trump recently told four congresswomen of colour to go back to where they came from and fix the rot there instead of telling the people of United States how their government should be run.