"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?"
The official added the words "who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge".
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. His comment comes a day after the administration announced a new rule that will reject green cards for immigrants who might rely on government assistance. "President Trump has delivered on his promise to the American people to enforce long-standing immigration law by defining the public charge inadmissibility ground that has been on the books for years".
Cuccinelli defended the new policy saying it was actually the longstanding position of America to insist that immigrants looking for a home here are not a burden to the state.
The rule change is meant to reinforce "ideals of self-sufficiency", officials said. "So let's not look at that as the be-all, end-all, and it's not the deciding factor".
When asked if Lazarus' words on the Statue of Liberty - "Give me your exhausted, your poor" - were still a part of the American ethos, Cuccinelli responded: "They certainly are", before adding that any "tired and poor" people who came to the US should be able to "stand on their own two feet" and not "become a public charge".
The White House said in a statement on the same day that this provision would help ensure that immigrants were financially self-sufficient rather than relying on US public welfare to safeguard the interests of USA citizens.
ICYMI, Trump and co. wanna make it harder for folks who legally migrated to the US - but aren't citizens yet - to obtain permanent status if they receive food stamps, Section 8 housing or Medicaid. effectively squeezing 'em out.
Later on Tuesday, Trump weighed in on Cuccinelli's additions to the poem.
Ken Cuccinelli was responding to a question about whether the updated regulations continued in the spirit of Emma Lazarus' sentiments in "The New Colossus" that are etched on the Statue of Liberty.
Kenneth Cuccinelli, the acting Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, countered that the changes would ensure that people who came to the US were not a drain on tax-payers and were self-sufficient. I'm exhausted of seeing our taxpayer paying for people to come into the country and immediately go on welfare and various other things.
"So I think we're doing it right".