Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sharply criticized a top official of the Trump administration over recent remarks he made about the poem on the Statue of Liberty, as he showed support for a new rule which targets immigrants that may depend on public services, The Hill reported.
As someone who also arrived the United States as a refugee, Albright slammed acting head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cucinelli, saying that this is one of the most “un-American” things she had heard.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright responds to Ken Cuccinelli’s rewrite of the Statue of Liberty poem: “I can tell you, I’ve been a refugee twice. … I think that it is one of the most un-American things I’ve heard,” CNN tweeted.
Her comments came just a day after Cucinelli cited part of Emma Lazarus’s famous poem while defending a new “public charge” rule that could force immigrants to decide between accepting public services or accepting a green card.
“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” Cuccinelli said on NPR’s “Morning Edition” when asked if Lazarus’s poem, “The New Colossus,” was part of the American ethos.
Lazurus’s original poem 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!”
“I can tell you, I’ve been a refugee twice,” Albright said. “Once from the Nazis and we were in England. And then we came to the United States when communists took over in Czechoslovakia. I think that it is one of the most un-American things that I’ve ever heard and I will always remember seeing the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by.”
Albright later argued that the U.S. was “forgetting that great history of our country.”
The Trump administration on Monday rolled out a new policy that expands the government’s ability to reject green cards, visas and entry into the U.S. for individuals using public services.
The “public charge” rule will tie a person’s immigration status to their income and use of programs including Medicaid, food stamps and housing subsidies.