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Letter: Don’t tamper with poem on Statue of Liberty

When someone (i.e. Ken Cuccinelli, director of Citizens and Immigration Services) tampers with a more than century-old beacon of hope for folks coming to America, he has seriously touched a nerve.

The famed poem “The New Colossus” was written by Emma Lazarus, who was my first cousin thrice removed. That poem is still and always will be an important and powerful message, welcoming millions of immigrants who came to America, welcomed by the Statue of Liberty’s awe and distinct greatness.

Cuccinelli has made an attempt to reinterpret the true meaning of those powerful words of hope and encouragement for a better life in the United States of America. Those very valuable words are still inspiring the millions who visit here every year. For some, it is an honor, for others a proof of what it means to experience freedom.

How dare Cuccinelli try to twist the poem’s important meaning to satisfy his warped and mean-spirited definition of immigrants? He stated that immigrants should be those “who can stand on their own two feet, and not become a public charge.”

Lazarus’ actual words state “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shoe, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp besides the golden door.” Such powerful emotion.

Don’t allow those like Cuccinelli to speak ugly and distorted verbiage in order to creat conflict and hate in an already troubled environment. Stand up. Vote. And right these horrendous wrongdoings.

Emily Doumaux Newell

Derby

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