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Castro told reporters on Wednesday that, "We don't need to change the words on that Statue of Liberty.
We need to live up to the best of those ideals and continue to bring in people who will be hard-working, who will add to the forward progress of our country no matter what the skin color, and whether they're already well-off or not." He was responding to comments Tuesday by Ken Cuccinelli, who said that the 1883 poem in tribute to immigrants on the Statue of Liberty refers to "people coming from Europe." The poem is called "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus.
It reads in part, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore." It does not refer specifically to people from any one region.
The spat comes after U.S. President Donald Trump's administration unveiled a sweeping rule on Monday that some experts say could cut legal immigration in half by denying visas and permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people for being too poor.
The long-anticipated rule, pushed by Trump's leading aide on immigration, Stephen Miller, takes effect Oct.
It would reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas if they fail to meet high enough income standards or if they receive public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid.