By Scott Greer
Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly has come out swinging this week against immigration activists who believe that one of America’s defining symbols, the Statue of Liberty, is an emblem for supporting open immigration to America.
“It’s most unfortunate that people who had nothing to do with this great gift from the French were allowed to paste a plaque on the base of the statue with a quotation that has misrepresented the statue as an invitation to open immigration. The statue has nothing to do with immigration,” Schlafly declared.
“Remember, it’s the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Immigration.”
The famed author of the conservative classic “A Choice, Not an Echo” made her comments in a radio blog commemorating the 127th anniversary of the dedication of the statue that has become a symbol of America.
The plaque she criticized, placed on the Statue of Liberty in 1903, bears the sonnet of immigrant poet Emma Lazarus.
Salon called her comments “hateful” and tried to undermine her reputation by claiming that no one pays attention to her anymore.
Right Wing Watch, along with criticizing her remarks, did admit “the Statue of Liberty was not originally meant by the French to commemorate immigration.”
Unlike her critics, Schlafly believes that the icon simply represents America’s value for liberty, nothing more.
“The Statue of Liberty memorializes the unique liberty we enjoy in America. It has nothing whatever to do with immigration,” Schlafly stated in her radio blog.
She quoted Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan to explain the real meaning of Lady Liberty and how the statue represents the uniqueness of America and it’s dedication to freedom and liberty.
“On the Statue of Liberty’s 50th anniversary in 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated: ‘The Almighty did prepare this American continent to be a place of the second chance. … Millions have … found … freedom of opportunity, freedom of thought, freedom to worship God.’ President Dwight Eisenhower stated in 1954: ‘It represents … a nation whose greatness is based on a firm unshakable belief that all of us mere mortals are dependent upon the mercy of a Superior Being.’ When the Statue of Liberty was relighted after a restoration, President Ronald Reagan said in 1986: ‘I’ve always thought … that God had His reasons for placing this land here between two great oceans.’”
Schlafly has distinguished herself as a staunch opponent of granting amnesty to illegal aliens and has called legislation that would grant it “Republican Party suicide.”
In her latest column, she argues that the current batch of immigrants don’t subscribe to American values and are fiercely resisting assimilation into American culture. Thus, in her opinion, she believes that it is a bad policy for the GOP to pursue immigration reform as it would certainly kill the party.