Those in favor of illegal immigration often point to the words on the Statue of Liberty as proof that illegal aliens should be allowed to stream across our borders and remain here unhindered. They quote just a portion of the poem written by Emma Lazarus over 120 years ago called The New Colossus. These are the words they point out:
"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
As with anything though, they are taking one portion of something out of context to fit their agenda. Below is the whole poem which Glenn Beck portrays in the video below. Its context was not to state that the United States of America was some sort of socialist utopia who would take in the infirm and provide everything for them, but that Lady Liberty would hold forth her torch by the Golden Door of opportunity, liberty and freedom and that it was up to the individual to choose to take that door.
The United States is based fully on being a country of laws, the Constitution. Lady Liberty would no doubt be disgusted at the words on her base being used by law-breakers to excuse their actions to steal liberty from her citizens and those already here legally.
The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
It should be noted that Lazarus's poem was written to be auctioned off to help in covering the costs of the Statue of Liberty's pedestal. The government didn't just come in and pay for it all, as would be done today. The poem was then shoved in a vault in the pedestal and forgotten along with others that were auctioned off and played no part in the opening of the statue in 1886. In 1903, a friend and fan of Lazarus went on a campaign to have Lazarus's poem engraved and placed at the pedestal.
The Statue of Liberty was not constructed in regards to immigration, but in regards to the liberty and freedom of the nation and as an example to the rest of the world. Lady Liberty was only associated with immigration after the placement of Lazarus's poem and because it was one of the first things immigrants on their way to Ellis Island saw when approaching America.
Glenn Beck on the Statue of Liberty and true meaning of The New Colossus
The portion on the Statue of Liberty begins at 1:30
You can find the full Glenn Beck speech from CPAC below.
Glenn Beck CPAC Speech Part 1
Glenn Beck CPAC Speech Part 2
Glenn Beck CPAC Speech Part 3
Glenn Beck CPAC Speech Part 4
Glenn Beck CPAC Speech Part 5
Glenn Beck CPAC Speech Part 6
Thanks to The Right Scoop for grabbing the video from CSPAN