Immigration Head Reworks Statue of Liberty Poem

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Top immigration official says public charge rule will not target

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Top immigration official says public charge rule will not target"any particular group

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, speaks during a briefing at the White House on August 12 in Washington. "Give me your exhausted and your poor who can stand on their own two feet".

Under the update, US immigration authorities will view applicants' use of government assistance programs as a negative mark against them when considering their eligibility for a temporary visa or a green card. His comment comes a day after the administration announced a new rule that will reject green cards for immigrants who might rely on government assistance. NPR's Rachel Martin asked Cuccinelli on "Morning Edition" in an interview published Tuesday.

"I'm certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty", Cuccinelli replied.

The Los Angeles Times reports described the step as one of the administration's most aggressive move and that it targets legal immigration.

The new rules have sparked frantic outcry from Democrats and immigrant-rights groups who said the USA should not discourage poor people who can not support themselves from attempting to immigrate.

Cuccinelli argued that the new rule would help to ensure that immigrants won't become a burden, touting what the administration sees as the virtues of self-sufficiency during Monday's announcement.

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And we can only imagine how frightening being lifted up into the sky by giant, mechanical birds must be for fish. It worked, and it was the "a-ha" moment that caused the company to pivot from fruit to fish".

The rule change is meant to reinforce "ideals of self-sufficiency", officials said.

Trump made the call in a thread of Twitter on Sunday, July 14, in which he said the congresswomen of colour originally came from countries whose governments are the most corrupt and inept in the world. "So let's not look at that as the be-all, end-all, and it's not the deciding factor".

The White House said in a statement on the same day that this provision would help ensure that immigrants were financially self-sufficient rather than relying on US public welfare to safeguard the interests of USA citizens.

"If they don't have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them", Cuccinelli said.

The acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services on Tuesday modified the poem on the Statue of Liberty to include being able to "stand on their own two feet" in defense of the Trump administration's new rules for green cards. I'm exhausted of seeing our taxpayer paying for people to come into the country and immediately go on welfare and various other things.

Then he clarified. "It is a privilege to become an American, not a right for anybody who is not already an American citizen, that's what I was referring to".

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