The Lazarus poem was drawn up among a hodgepodge of other efforts to raise money to complete the construction of the statue a decade after it began. The poem was the brainchild of a wealthy Jewess putatively inspired by the statue to pen it. The statue wasn’t inspired or influenced by the poem. It’s housed inside the base of the statue and is not observable from the outside.
The statue commemorates America’s freedom from foreign domination. The tablet in lady liberty’s arm bears an inscription that, unlike the Lazarus poem, was actually part of the statue’s design. It reads (in Roman numerals) “July 4, 1776”.
The statue isn’t a celebration of immigration, it’s a celebration of this:
Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
Did the men who signed that declaration of independence conceive of America as a “nation of immigrants”?
No. That phrase first appears in the 1920s, a century after the last of the founding fathers had gone to the grave.
To see what the founders thought about the composition of the country, we need to look at the law they actually passed regarding it.
The Naturalization Act of 1790 limited immigration to “free white persons of good character”. It explicitly noted that the right of citizenship did “not descend to persons whose fathers have never been resident in the United States.”
CNN isn’t just fake news, it’s fake history (or “fake olds”, if you like).
Critics, including many members of Congress, said the plan calls for allowing immigration based on ratios of applicants and a points-based system of approvals, not hard numbers.
That means it will wind up reducing legal immigration, whether applicants are skilled or not.
“The Perdue-Cotton bill does exactly what President Trump has indicated he does not want to do, and that is massively restrict legal immigration,” said political consultant Liz Mair, who describes herself as a Republican immigration advocate.
Mair disputed Perdue’s comparisons of his plan with those of Canada and Australia, saying, “both of those countries admit massively more legal immigrants relative to their population than the U.S. ever could if this bill became law.”
But there’s a lot of bipartisan populist support for it. This is one where we have to do more than offer our moral support in the silent comfort of our own homes. Contact your congress critters and tell them to support the thing. Find your house representative here and your senators here.
Something as simple as “Please support the RAISE Act put forward by Senators Cotton and Perdue. It is time we have an immigration system that puts Americans first!” will do perfectly fine. The aids just tally the “for”s and “against”s they receive.