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Appendix 06: The New Colossus
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

 ~ by Emma Lazarus

Now contrast Lazarus’ poem with this commentary on the Immigration Reform Act of 2007 by then-CNN Commentor Lou Dobbs, from May of 2007:

"What many once regarded as the world's great deliberative body looks more like a clamorous bazaar in which senators feverishly hawk duplicity and deceit as bright jewels of public policy. Comprehensive immigration reform is just such a bauble and buyer beware.

"Most beguiling among those merchants of mendacity is none other than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been peddling his wares at the Senate bazaar for more than four decades. Kennedy's counterfeit immigration views reach all the way back to his championship of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

"In signing that legislation into law, President Lyndon Johnson promised it would not be revolutionary or affect the lives of millions, even as it overturned 60 years of U.S. immigration policy of national origin quotas and led to the creation of explosive chain migration.

"Twenty-one years later, President Ronald Reagan signed into law amnesty for more than three million illegal aliens who had entered the country. President Reagan then promised the new employer sanctions would "remove the incentive for illegal immigration by eliminating the job opportunities," and that the law's amnesty provision would allow millions who were hiding in the shadows to 'step into the sunlight.'

"And now, another 21 years later, we hear the same language as the pro-amnesty and open borders advocates demand that American citizens ignore history, reason and the national interest. They are again marketing the same false assurances about border enforcement and insist there will be no social or economic cost to the taxpayer or the nation. More than four decades of disruptive and destructive immigration policy initiatives should be a sufficient history lesson for all Americans.

"The essential truth is clear: We cannot reform immigration law until we control immigration, and we cannot control immigration until we control our borders and our ports. This president and the congressional Democratic leadership refuse to recognize that reality and will not honor that truth.

"President Bush and Sen. Kennedy pass for political stars in our tortured times, and that is sad enough. But if we follow the course they've set, true tragedy awaits us. And the fault will be ours."


  1. What landmark is being described here?
  2. When was this poem written, and what were the circumstances in the U.S. at that time?
  3. Do you think Lazarus would agree with Lou Dobbs’ views? Why, or why not?
After analyzing Dobbs’ commentary, how do you think he would respond to the statements from Plato and Aung San Suu Kyi and to the sentiments of Emma Lazarus?