U.S. Immigration Chief Rewrites Statue Of Liberty Poem In Defense Of New Policy05:22
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A tourist's hand is seen at the crown of the Statue of Liberty on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
A tourist's hand is seen at the crown of the Statue of Liberty on February 19, 2019 in New York City. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli announced a change that would make it harder for poorer legal immigrants to become citizens.

Speaking to NPR, he rewrote Emma Lazarus' famous 1883 poem that appears on the Statue of Liberty. He said, "Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge."

Here & Now's Robin Young delves into the history of U.S. immigration, and how attitudes and policies have shifted over time, with NPR's Tom Gjelten (@tgjelten), author of "A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Story."

This segment aired on August 13, 2019.

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