‘Give me your tired’ vs. ‘We the People’

By John Rocker

What are those words on the bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty so many people love to quote as the debate-killing comment when liberals (and even conservatives) are overwhelmed with facts pertaining to the harmful effects of illegal immigration on the U.S. economy, the health-care system and the future of the nation?

Something along the lines of “Give me your tired …”:

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!

From a poem by Emma Lazarus titled “The New Colossus,” these words have become more sacred to many than even “When in the course of human events …” (Declaration of Independence) and “We the People …” from the United States Constitution.

Never mind that the poem played no part in the opening of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island in 1886; those four words – “Give me your tired” – have in some ways eclipsed the importance of the actual statue and taken on a life of their own.

One could make the observation the poem itself holds more importance in 2014 America than does the Statue of Liberty itself, especially when the president of the United States – surrounded by illegal immigrants – gloats about how “no force on Earth can stop us.”

And when the president of the United States euphorically speaks in Spanish, surrounded by illegal immigrants, and pronounces no force on Earth can stop amnesty, you realize Lazarus’ poem has become the navigating beacon for wherever America is headed.

Which brings us to the madness of the Ebola outbreak in America and our president’s decision to send thousands of U.S. military personnel to Africa to combat a disease they’ve never been trained to fight.

Oh, and the madness of a president who isn’t considering a travel ban from those countries most affected by the Ebola virus, when such a ban would help ensure that no one else carrying the virus makes it to America:

“A travel ban is not something that we’re currently considering,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a daily briefing.

“We feel good about the measures that are already in place,” he said.

Count me among those who don’t feel good about the measures already in place, since those measures enabled Ebola to arrive on America’s shores to begin with.

Read Rocker’s firsthand account of his public battle with the PC thought police: “Scars and Strikes,” at the WND Superstore

The mere fact Americans are now potentially exposed to Ebola, a disease indigenous to Africa, is a reminder that not one American should “feel good” about Obama administration measures “already in place” to protect us.

Ebola is here, largely thanks to the belief that “Give me your tired, your poor …” is a more important foundational concept than “We the People.”

It’s important to remember “We the People” once was the priority in determining what was best for the American people, instead of putting the fortunes and fate of “the tired, poor, huddled masses” ahead of Americans.

Prior to “The New Colossus” poem being placed on the inner wall of the Statue of Liberty in 1903, Ellis Island was home to the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital: the country’s first public health hospital, which operated from 1902 until 1930.

Using the power of Google and locating an article from the New York Times published on Jan. 11, 2000, the real importance of Ellis Island to keeping America free of contagious diseases overwhelms Lazarus’ open-border optimism. With the headline, “Major Screening for TB Shows Contrast in Conditions Since Days of Ellis Island,” the Times reports:

As they dragged their luggage up the long winding staircase in the main building on Ellis Island, immigrants in the early 1900s would catch the eye of the Public Health Service doctors if they looked too out of breath and certainly if they were coughing.

To the doctors, this was a possible sign of a contagious disease like tuberculosis, and they needed to act swiftly.

After examination with a stethoscope and, after 1910, an X-ray machine, immigrants with tuberculosis would be sent back home if the disease had not progressed too far, or would be placed in an isolation ward, where many of them died.

“There was a real fear of the disease,” said Dr. John Parascandola, historian for the Public Health Service. “There was not a treatment for it. It was contagious, and it didn’t go away quickly.”

Another article from the New York Times – with the headline, “Ellis Island’s Forgotten Hospital” – details just how successful this hospital was at keeping America safe from infectious diseases:

“No major epidemic was ever traced to an immigrant who entered America after being treated at the hospital. Nine of 10 patients treated at the hospital were cured and allowed to enter the country and begin the road to citizenship.”

Re-read the first sentence.


Twelve million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island, and no major epidemic was ever traced to an immigrant who entered America after being treated at the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital.

Not one.

And now, the Ebola virus – which the Obama administration assures us is under control, though the virus is on America’s shores – is here.

The first American to contract Ebola, courtesy of a Liberian, will give proof to the lie of the Obama administration that the measures in place have failed.

One American sick from Ebola via contact with someone with the deadly disease on our shores is one too many.

It’s time to retire “Give me your tired …” in your speech and thinking process, and remember what “We the People” meant.

Celebrate what the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital prevented, instead of what the thinking and motivation behind “The New Colossus” poem has enabled (Ebola coming to our shores).

“We the People” are the force on this Earth that can stop Obama and the plans of liberals to create a permanent leftist order in America.

Media wishing to interview John Rocker, please contact [email protected].

Receive John Rocker's commentaries in your email

BONUS: By signing up for John Rocker's alerts, you will also be signed up for news and special offers from WND via email.

  • Where we will email your daily updates
  • A valid zip code or postal code is required

  • Click the button below to sign up for John Rocker's commentaries by email, and keep up to date with special offers from WND. You may change your email preferences at any time.

Leave a Comment