U.S. denied entry to thousands during time ‘huddled masses’ poem erected on Statue of Liberty

(FILE PHOTO by public domain)

In their attempts to demonize President Donald Trump’s plan to deny green cards to welfare-dependent immigrants, liberal activists in the Democrat Party and the mainstream media alike have being arguing that the plan is antithetical to America’s founding and history.

As evidence, they’ve been pointing to the poem on the Statue of Liberty, which reads in part, “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!”

This line in the 136-year-old sonnet written by American poet Emma Lazarus has been used by the left to essentially make the claim that to reject the immigration requests of foreigners who are poor and destitute would be a betrayal of the nation’s values.

Is this a fair argument, though? The evidence suggests not. For one, despite the altruism promoted in Lazarus’s poem, it was written only a year after Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1882, which it just so happens included a provision stating that incoming immigrants who were at risk of “becoming a public charge” — i.e., becoming dependent on government welfare to survive — would not be allowed entry into the U.S.

Moreover, in the same year that Lazarus’s poem was actually cast onto a bronze plaque and mounted on the Statue of Liberty in 1903, nearly 6,000 potential immigrants were rejected because of their financial status.

“In his annual report to Congress in 1903, U.S. Immigration Commissioner William Williams warned that too many immigrants were ‘entering this country with inadequate sums of money,’ leaving the system with thousands of charity cases and sinking the country’s standard of living,” The Washington Times notes.

“More than 857,000 immigrants arrived by sea in 1903, according to Mr. Williams‘ report to Congress. A tiny fraction — 8,769 — were denied entry. The majority of those — 5,812 — were barred because they were deemed to be paupers or likely to become public charges. The next most common reason was contagious disease, with 1,773 denials.”

These findings suggest the opposite of what the left claims. So does the fact that, according to Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian, the notion of denying entrance to those incapable of taking responsibility for themselves existed even before America’s official founding.

“He pointed to a law enacted by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1600s denying paupers the right to enter. He said that thread runs throughout U.S. history,” the Times noted.

In a statement to the outlet, he argued that it’s a simple condition based on common sense.

“This rule is just taking the principle that immigrants should be able to pay their own bills and translating it into the modern conditions of the welfare state,” he said. “We should have done this before.”

“This does raise a basic difference in perspective about immigration policy. Is the purpose of immigration policy to benefit Americans who are here already, or is it to benefit the immigrants who are coming here?

Polling data suggests most Americans subscribe to the former:

“I would submit that a democratic government is obliged to make policy based on what’s going to benefit the people already here. I think a lot of people objecting to this public charge rule have the opposite perspective,” Krikorian added.

As it stands, America is already burdened by over $22 trillion in debt and a perpetually rising deficit, not to mention gradually collapsing entitlements programs from Social Security to Medicare.

Plus, as noted by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, the poem by Lazarus’ poem speaks about immigrants yearning to be or breath free, not immigrants yearning for free stuff …



It’s a response by B. Shapiro to BS complaints from the Democrat mainstream media that Trump’s “no green…

Posted by Conservative News Feed on Wednesday, August 14, 2019


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