ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The first Muslim elected to the New Mexico Legislature is speaking out against a Trump administration official who said the inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcomed only people from Europe.
State Rep. Abbas Akhil told The Associated Press this week that comments by Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, were divisive and racist.
The Albuquerque Democrat says Emma Lazarus’ poem welcoming “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” spoke to him when he came to the U.S. in 1972 from India.
Beginning in the 1930s, immigration supporters began using the poem to bolster their cause.
Cuccinelli had said the poem should read “give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”