U.S. immigration chief Ken Cuccinelli claims Statue of Liberty poem is about 'people coming from Europe'

Ken Cuccinelli discusses poetry
(Image credit: Screenshot/Twitter/CNN)

On NPR Tuesday morning, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, proposed some editorial changes to the Emma Lazarus poem inscribed in bronze at the base of the Statue of Liberty, seeking to make the text of "The New Colossus" fit President Trump's new policy discouraging legal citizens from accessing public assistance like food stamps. On CNN Tuesday night, Cuccinelli offered some literary criticism, specifically arguing that Lazarus used "wretched" as a technical term in her 1883 poem.

"That poem was referring back to people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies where people were considered wretched if they weren't in the right class," Cuccinelli told CNN's Erin Burnett when she asked him what he thinks "America stands for."

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