CNN Anchor Slams Trump's New Immigration Rule, Arguing It Says 'GTFO' Instead of 'Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor'

CNN anchor John Avlon took issue with President Donald Trump's new immigration policy, arguing that it goes directly against the poem written under the Statue of Liberty, which says "give me your tired, your poor," and instead says "GTFO."

"There seems to be an animus against immigration period," Avlon said during a discussion on CNN's New Day over the new policy on Tuesday morning. "And you look at everyone here at this table and look at people who are working in the White House today, look in the mirror and say: 'When and how did my grandparents or great-grandparents come here?" he continued. "People come here because they're in economic or political distress and they come here because they want to work for a better life."

Avlon then pointed to the words of the poem below the Statue of Liberty, explaining that it says: "give me your tired, your poor" and "your tempest-tost." He argued that the new Trump administration policy goes counter to those words. "What this policy does is say 'GTFO'," he asserted.

The new immigration rule announced by the Trump administration on Monday significantly favors legal migrants with greater economic means, making it easier for them to remain in the country permanently. The rule will implement a wealth test, determining whether or not the immigrants can support themselves in the country. Individuals believed to be likely to use government assistance programs, such as food stamps and government health care, will be denied green cards under the policy.

"Let's call this rule what it is: a thinly veiled attempt to stratify immigration along income lines and to dissuade low-income and disproportionately black and brown immigrants from using financial assistance programs that they are legally eligible for," Erin Hemlin, director of health policy and advocacy at the organization Young Invincibles, said in a statement emailed to Newsweek.

"The Trump Administration does not believe that everyone deserves quality, affordable health care, regardless of income, race, or immigration status," she said.

Statue of Liberty
The moon emerges from a cloud as it rises above the Statue of Liberty at sunset in New York City on July 15, 2019, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey Gary Hershorn/Getty

Although administration officials said that the new rule would not apply to those currently living in the U.S. with green cards, as well as certain members of the military, pregnant women, children, refugees or asylum-seekers, advocates are concerned that many immigrants will stop accessing government-funded programs out of fear.

As Avlon pointed out on CNN, the rule favoring wealthier immigrants does appear to go counter to the poem under the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The national monument has long been viewed as a symbol of welcoming immigrants to the country. Written by Emma Lazarus in 1883, the sonnet says:

"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."

CNN Anchor Slams Trump's New Immigration Rule, Arguing It Says 'GTFO' Instead of 'Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor' | U.S.