News and Commentary

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Just Tweeted Something Incredibly Stupid About Trump’s Immigration Bill

On Wednesday afternoon, White House senior advisor Stephen Miller had a heated debate with CNN’s Jim Acosta about immigration, and pointed out that Acosta’s claim that the Administration’s immigration stance stood counter to the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, prompting Miller to point out that the words Acosta quoted were added later and not a part of the Statue of Liberty when it was unveiled.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, not wanting to miss a chance to get his name in the papers, had his own response to the debate, and he voiced it on Twitter:

What Cuomo seemed to imply was the words from Emma Lazarus’ poem to which Acosta referred, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” should somehow supersede laws on the books or laws to be passed regarding immigration; that they represented a rubric underneath which the laws of the land should reside.

Cuomo was also ignoring the fact that that in 1902, only one year before Lazarus’ words were added to the base of the statue, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first law implemented to prevent a specific ethnic group from immigrating to the United States, was made permanent. It was finally repealed in 1943.

The New York Times reported in 2011:

Barry Moreno, a historian of the statue for the National Park Service, recalled that it ”was never built for immigrants.” ”It was,” he recalled, ”built to pay tribute to the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence, American democracy, and democracy throughout the world. It honored the end of slavery, honored the end of all sorts of tyranny and also friendship between France and America.”

Miller did obfuscate one issue, though; saying, “The poem that you’re referring to you was added later. It is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.” That made it sound as if Lazarus had written the poem after the opening of the statue; in fact, Lazarus wrote it in 1883, three years before the statue was unveiled, as a donation to an auction of art and literary works to raise money for the pedestal’s construction. She died in 1887, probably from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.