WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump signed an executive order today that will revoke and rescind the Emma Lazarus poem on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty. The poem, entitled “The New Colossus,” was written by Lazarus as part of a fundraising drive for the base of the statue, which was a gift from the French government. The poem has long been regarded as an unofficial statement of the country’s embrace and acceptance of outsiders who want to become citizens. However, this morning Trump officially stripped the poem of its unofficial importance, and it will be stripped from the base of the statue some time next year.
The move comes on the heels of Trump administration official Ken Cuccinelli telling an NPR interviewer this week that the poem should be amended to say, “give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet.” The comments have drawn criticism and have been pointed to as yet more evidence of Trump’s anti-immigrant policy stances, despite assuring the public he just wants to end “illegal” immigration.
“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.” (CNN)
“With DACA gone,” Trump said as he was signing the order, “it seems like a big lie to say we want anyone’s huddled masses, am I right? I mean, maybe if the poem said to give us your white tired, your white poor, and your white huddled masses yearning to be free and white, I’d keep it. But it’s time for change people, okay?”
Before deciding to scrap the poem entirely, Trump says he considered simply making some “minor changes and enhancements” to it.
“So there’s the part that talks about a ‘mighty woman with a torch’ right? Well, we think that might be a bit unfair to the men in this country,” Trump said, “So we were thinking of changing it to say ‘a man with a huge dong who likes to schlong hot bitches’ but the statue is a broad I guess, so we scrapped that idea entirely.”
President Trump campaigned on a platform largely built on a much stronger anti-immigration stance than previous administrations. He infamously spoke about Mexico sending drug dealers, rapists, and murderers across the southern border in his very first campaign speech, given after riding down an escalator from his luxury apartment in New York City. Trump promised a massive border wall that Mexico would pay for, though the Mexican government has repeatedly and doggedly insisted that is not the case.
“Everyone says this is a nation of immigrants because the pilgrims weren’t native to this continent,” Trump said while signing the executive order terminating the Lazarus poem, “but there’s a big difference between the people who landed the Mayflower and the people coming here illegally now. And let’s just say you can tell by, you know, LOOKING at them, what that difference is.”
In 2017, Trump sent shock waves throughout America when his Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — would be terminated. The program was instituted via executive enforcement directives by Trump’s predecessor, “That Black Democrat,” as the president calls him. DACA effectively gives limited, protected legal status to people brought to this country within a certain time frame by their parents when they were minor children. Members of Trump’s own party have criticized the move, saying that even though Obama overreached in use of his powers, it’s more unsettling that Trump would punish people who had no control over breaking immigration law.
“I just think it’s time we punish kids for their parents’ crimes,” Trump said, “Which is of course why I will allow Don Jr.’s kids to be sent to jail for his treason, and why Don Jr. will be going to jail for mine. I would take the fall, but I found out they would not give me conjugal visits, and that much time away from Ivanka would be a real let down.”
Mr. Trump has indicated that he may ask for a new poem to be put on a plaque at the base of the statue, and he’s also said that he may order the torch she carries extinguished.
“I’m thinking something like…Roses are red, violets are blue, if you’re not born here, then I say fuck you and your whole family too.” Trump said, directing an aide to “write that down.”