Kenneth Cuccinelli is an Italian-American. Born in the U.S. Somewhere in his lineage, his descendants were born in Italy.
His career a successful one. The Virginia State Senate, Virginia Attorney General, a Republican who lost a gubernatorial race. Now serving as Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Mark Razel is a George Mason University political scientist. Re Cuccinelli he said, “People perceive Cuccinelli as a hard-right figure on a number of issues. They don’t tend to see him as having a soft side.”
Hard right figure. His record supports the impression. Cuccinelli is a self-described opponent of women’s sexuality rights, as Attorney General he defended anti-sodomy laws and prohibitions on same sex marriages, he rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.
He has been vigorous in his disagreement re climate change. As Attorney General, he investigated climate scientists, who he argued were engaged in fraud.
He filed lawsuits against the EPA.
An immigration hard liner, he sought to prohibit undocumented immigrants from attending universities, repeal birth right citizenships, force employees to speak English in the work place.
Cuccinelli is beginning to be regarded as an historical revisionist. His interpretation of certain historical records is off base. He challenges the views of yesterday. In cases such as immigration, it involves a reversal of older moral judgments.
Revisionist and moral the operative words.
His confrontation today with history and its meaning as regards the verbiage on the Statue of Liberty is in play. Properly described as an historical revision involving the reversal of an older moral judgment.
The plaque on the Statue of Liberty reads: “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-loss to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
Cuccinelli wants a revision which is referred to as the “public charge rule.” The U.S. does not want you if you can’t afford to sustain yourself upon arrival. He also considers persons of color as falling into the class of the poor requiring public assistance.
He would change a portion of the Statue’s verbiage to read: “Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet and will not become a public charge.”
As an Italian American, I am ashamed of Cuccinelli. He should be ashamed of himself. What he intends is to limit immigration to whites and those able to sustain themselves financially. No one else.
Not the way it has been in the U.S. We are a nation of immigrants. Our doors are open to those seeking a better life or refuge.
Cuccinelli was born in 1968. Probably to a family already part of the American scene. His parents born in the U.S.
Somewhere back in his family’s history, some came to the U..S. seeking that better life. Under Cuccinelli’s new interpretation, they would not be permitted to enter. Cuccinelli probably would not have received the education he has and become the success he has were it not for them seeking the benefits and protection of the U.S.
He turns his back on that which provided him with opportunity. Had the family not come, Cuccinelli very likely would still be living in Italy working as a farmer or sheep herder.
Which brings me to my background and the reasons I feel Cuccinelli shames himself. Especially in the position he presently holds. It appears he has sold his soul to the company store.
My mother was born in Italy. My father of parents who arrived before his birth. Neither side was affluent. Simply stated, poor. They came seeking the better life for themselves and theirs.
My mother was living in the U.S. when she was 8 years old. Not educated. Not in a public school. At 8, she was working in a New York City shoe factory 16 hours a day.
My father never finished high school. He was ashamed. When I was 10 years old, he studied at home and took final examinations for the third and fourth years of high school. At the high school with the regular students.
He graduated with them also. Cap and gown. My father was excited. We all were. And proud.
I was a welfare baby. Born in 1935 at a hospital that provided free services to indigents. It was the height of the Depression. My parents both were out of work.
My cousins and I are all second or third generation. All successful. All having made contributions which have bettered the U.S.
My grandfather, my father’s father, came to the U.S. when he was 12. He had no family. Knew no family. Grew up on the streets and farm areas surrounding Naples. Neither read nor spoke English.
He made the trip alone.
Cuccinelli forgets. Or maybe he never knew. Perhaps he grew up in a comfortable existence. Whatever, I say again…..Shame on him!
Enjoy your day!