Senators David Vitter and Rand Paul are introducing legislation to deny US birthright status, guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, to children born on American territory to "illegal immigrants."
What's missing from the proposed law - if passed - is that it needs to require the removal of Emma Lazarus's poem, written in 1883, from the pedestal (http://www.libertystatepark.com/emma.htm) of the Statue of Liberty. In "The New Colussus," Lazarus intones:
"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!"
In fact, just remove the Statue of Liberty itself from New York Harbor and replace it with a giant "no vacancy" sign.
Vitter and Paul - two politicians with gargantuan contradictions - appear to have a perverse notion of "American exceptionalism," given that all residents of the Unites States - with the exception of Native Americans - are descendants of immigrants.
It's rather perplexing to espouse the self-serving concept of "American exceptionalism" when a key policy that makes our nation extraordinary is the opportunity and strength it has gained from being a beacon of freedom to immigrants from around the world.
Vitter and Rand would extinguish the welcoming light held aloft by the iconic symbol of America rising from the water just a short boat ride from Manhattan.
Were they to accomplish their goal, much harm would be done to our nation's torch of hope.