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Ken Cuccinelli rewrites Statue of Liberty poem to make case for limiting immigration

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Ken Cuccinelli tweaked the famous poem from Emma Lazarus — whose words, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” are long associated with immigration to the US and the nation’s history as a haven — as part of a case for strict new measures pushed Monday by the Trump administration that could dramatically change the legal immigration system.

“Would you also agree that Emma Lazarus’s words etched on the Statue of Liberty, ‘Give me your tired, give me your poor,’ are also a part of the American ethos?” NPR’s Rachel Martin asked Cuccinelli on “Morning Edition” in an interview published Tuesday.

“They certainly are: ‘Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,'” he replied. “That plaque was put on the Statue of Liberty at almost the same time as the first public charge was passed — very interesting timing.”

On Monday, the Trump administration announced a regulation that makes it easier to reject green card and visa applications. The new rule means many green card and visa applicants could be turned down if they have low incomes or little education, and have used benefits such as most forms of Medicaid, food stamps, and housing vouchers, because they’d be deemed more likely to need government assistance in the future.

Cuccinelli has defended the changes, writing in a CNN op-ed published Tuesday that “self-sufficiency has been a core tenet of the American dream.”

“Long-standing federal law has required foreign nationals to rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, sponsors and private organizations in their communities to succeed,” Cuccinelli wrote.

Cuccinelli was asked about Lazarus’ poem on Monday and whether the new immigration changes would merit its removal from the statue’s pedestal.

“I do not think, by any means, we’re ready to take anything off the Statue of Liberty,” he said.

“We have a long history of being one of the most welcoming nations in the world on a lot of bases, whether you be an asylee, whether you be coming here to join your family or immigrating yourself,” he said at the White House, adding that the regulation “will include a meaningful analysis of whether they’re likely to become a public charge or not.”

Strict immigration policies

The Trump administration has taken the toughest stance against legal and illegal immigration of any presidency in modern times.

Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the US has fought to curtail the basis on which migrants can claim asylum, publicized large-scale raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an effort to deter would-be undocumented immigrants and backed a Republican Senate effort to create a skills-based immigration system.
Asked two years ago about the proposed skills-based changes — which ultimately weren’t passed — White House senior adviser Stephen Miller shrugged off a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta about whether the Trump administration’s efforts amounted to an effort to “change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country.”

Miller responded that as a requirement to be naturalized, “you have to speak English,” and continued, “so the notion that speaking English wouldn’t be a part of immigration systems would be very ahistorical.”

He went on: “Secondly, I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to was added later (and) is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

Lazarus originally wrote the sonnet, entitled “The New Colossus,” to raise funds for the statue’s pedestal in 1883. The sculpture itself, which sits in the New York Harbor and was visible on the path to the immigration checkpoint at Ellis Island, was a gift from France to the US.

It was not until 1903 that Lazarus’s words were inscribed on a bronze plaque and added to the site 17 years after the statue’s original unveiling in 1886.

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One of the last survivors of the USS Arizona was interred on the sunken warship

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Lauren Bruner, one of 334 crew members to survive the December 7, 1941 attack, died on September 10, just months before his 99th birthday.
Loved ones gathered at sunset at the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii. Family and friends handed Bruner’s ashes over to divers who placed the urn inside the well of the barbette on gun turret No. 4. A barbette is an armored structure protecting a gun turret on a warship.

The ceremony included a rifle salute, flag presentation and plaque presentation in honor of the veteran. A barbette is an armored structure protecting a gun turret on a warship.

The memorial can only be reached by boat as was built above the submerged hull of the sunken battleship. The hull is a tomb for more than 900 sailors who remain within and serves as an artificial reef providing habitat for marine life.

Only the remains of USS Arizona survivors can be interred on the sunken battleship. Pearl Harbor survivors can have their ashes scattered over the harbor.

Bruner was on the sky control deck when the ship was struck by several bombs, igniting explosions which killed 1,177 Arizona crew members. He was one of a handful of sailors on deck to survive the catastrophic explosion when a bomb struck the Arizona’s forward magazine.
After the explosion, he swam across 70 feet of burning water to reach the repair ship USS Vestal. Bruner suffered burns on nearly 80 percent of his body and was wounded by Japanese gunfire.

He recovered from his wounds and returned to sea, serving aboard the destroyer USS Coghlan in eight more battles against the Japanese, according to the Navy. He finished the war as a fire control chief on Coghlan, steaming into Nagasaki harbor only days after the atomic bomb explosion.

Bruner is the 44th and last USS Arizona survivor to be interred, according to Emily Pruett, a spokeswoman for the Pearl Harbor National Memorial.

“The wrecks of only two vessels remain in the harbor — the Arizona and USS Utah — so survivors of those ships are the only ones who have the option to be laid to rest this way,” Pruett told CNN.

The rest of the ships which were struck that day were either repaired or scrapped, she said.

The last three living survivors of the USS Arizona plan to be laid to rest with their families.



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Macron under pressure as French pension protests leaves Paris burning

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Days after French President Emmanuel Macron attended the NATO summit, thousands of protestors marched down the streets of Paris to strike over pension reform. Former foreign policy adviser under Margaret Thatcher, Nile Gardiner, discusses the protests in France and the state of foreign countries compared to America.

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For Trump, Instinct After Florida Killings Is Simple: Protect Saudis

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It was hardly the first time Mr. Trump had shown such tendencies. After the brutal killing in Istanbul of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and a legal American resident, Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo played down American intelligence findings that closely tied Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to the matter. The findings suggested he had connections to the members of the hit team sent to Turkey — and almost certainly played a role in ordering them to bring Mr. Khashoggi back to the country by force.

Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Pompeo’s initial promises to follow the evidence wherever it led dissipated. Over the past year, Mr. Pompeo has expressed deep annoyance whenever the topic is raised. The United States was awaiting the results of a Saudi investigation, he often said, as if he expected that to offer a full accounting. And he told members of Congress that no matter the truth of what unfolded, the relationship between the kingdom and Washington was too important to be held hostage to one vicious, ill-thought-out act.

No American assessment of what the Saudi leadership knew has ever been made public.

Before the shooting on Friday, the White House was already fighting efforts in Congress to cut military aid to the Saudis, a reflection of anger over the Khashoggi murder and continuing war in Yemen. But the Pensacola attack underlined the continuing instinct to protect the relationship.

“If Trump wants to convey condolences from Saudi King Salman, fine,” Mr. Miller wrote on Twitter after the shooting. “But you don’t do it on day — Americans are killed — untethered from a message of ironclad assurances from King to provide” whatever cooperation is necessary to understand the gunman and his motives. “Otherwise Trump sounds like what he has become — a Saudi apologist.’’

After Mr. Pompeo announced that he had spoken with the Saudi foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, about the shooting, Martin Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and longtime Middle East negotiator, tweeted: “Isn’t it interesting how quick Trump and Pompeo are to broadcast Saudi government condolences for the murder of three Americans and how slow they were to criticize the Saudi government’s murder” of Mr. Khashoggi.

Still, the bond between the countries is weakening, as the erosion of support in Congress shows. A negotiation over providing nuclear technology to the Saudis, a huge push early in the administration, has stalled. The chances that the military support will remain at current levels appear slim.

“The U.S.-Saudi relationship is on life support,” Mr. Riedel said, noting that it would be in jeopardy if a Democrat were to win the 2020 election. “Even Joe Biden is calling the Kingdom a ‘pariah’ that needs to be punished,” he said, referring to the former vice president, who had for decades supported a strong relationship with the Saudis.





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