On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright raged against President Donald Trump's acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, for trying to rewrite the Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty to exclude poor immigrants
"When you heard the president's immigration official say that the poem on the Statue of Liberty is only for 'people who can stand on their own two feet,' as someone who sailed into New York Harbor as a young immigrant, what went through your mind?" said Cooper.
"I thought it was completely un-American," said Albright. "And I can tell you, I've been a refugee twice, once from the Nazis and we were in England, and then we came to the United States when the Communists took over in Czechoslovakia, and I think it's one of the most un-American things that I have ever heard, and I will always remember seeing the Statue of Liberty as we sailed by. And my father used to say that when we were in England people would say, we're so sorry your country's been taken over by a terrible dictator, you're welcome here, and when are you going home? And people in the United States said, we're so sorry your country's been taken over by a terrible system, you're welcome here, and when will you become a citizen? And my father said that's what made America a different country. And now we are forgetting that great history of our country."
"You know, Mr. Cuccinelli points to these laws as being a part of America's heritage, going back 140 years, and while that may be true, it is not necessarily a good thing," said Cooper. "Just because something is part of American heritage doesn't make it right. If you're having laws that single women could be deported or pregnant women could be deported, that's not something I think anybody wants to have kids celebrating in schools."
"For sure not," said Albright. "And I also am not sure that one can say it's part of the American heritage. There have been various periods where Americans have been very generous in our immigration policy, and I think this country has benefited by the diversity that has come through immigration. And so I find that one of the most un-American statements I've ever heard."
"You pointed out that I have a Statue of Liberty pin on," added Albright. "I think the Statue of Liberty is weeping."