US gov’t introduces new rules restricting legal immigration

President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Aug. 9 2019 as he prepares to leave Washington for his Bedminster golf club

The Trump administration announced a new rule Monday that would make it harder for documented, low-income immigrants to stay in the country.

Some critics believe that the new regulations are aimed at low-income immigrant groups.

On Tuesday, Mr Cuccinelli was asked by NPR whether the 1883 poem titled The New Colossus at the Statue of Liberty on New York's Ellis Island still applied.

"They certainly are: 'Give me your exhausted and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge, ' " Cuccinelli said.

With the new rules, officers at United States citizenship and immigration services will now weigh public assistance along with other factors such as education, household income and health to determine whether to grant legal status.

Here's acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli saying on NPR this morning that the Statue of Liberty plaque should be changed to read, "give me your exhausted and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge".

Cuccinelli was asked whether the words from Emma Lazarus's poem "The New Colossus" continue to be "part of the American ethos".

The new rule will go into effect October 15, and only government aid used after that point will be assessed, Cuccinelli said.


The actual passage reads in part: "Give me your exhausted, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore".

"That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at nearly the same time as the first public charge [law] was passed - very interesting timing", he added.

Cuccinelli, during an interview with NPR, argued it's the "American tradition" that immigrants welcomed into the country be those who are "self-sufficient, can pull themselves up from their bootstraps".

After the host asked if the policy "appears to change the definition of the American dream", he said: "We invite people to come here and join us as a privilege".

Rumors that the Trump administration was considering the regulation already led to a chilling effect on immigrants looking to put down roots through legal and permanent residency.

"President Trump's administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful in America", Cuccinelli said during a Monday press briefing at the White House.

The new requirements will not apply to refugees, those seeking asylum, children given special immigrant status, and victims trafficking, criminal activity and domestic violence, according to the notification.

On Tuesday, Cuccinelli described the public charge as a "burden on the government".

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