Stephen Colbert Jokes Ken Cuccinelli Wants to Add One Word to Statue of Liberty Poem: ‘Psych!’


Late Show host Stephen Colbert took dead aim at the Trump administration’s acting USCIS chief Ken Cuccinelli, parodying his clumsy attempts to wholly reinterpret the welcoming Emma Lazarus poem on the Statue of Liberty: “Ultimately, we just want to add one word: Psych!”

Cuccinelli came under fire earlier on Tuesday for trying to rewrite the famous poem to fit the new, restrictionist immigration policy of President Donald Trump. During an NPR interview, the former hard-line conservative attorney general of Virginia suggested the historic sonnets should be amended to read: “Give me your tired, your poor…who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”

This change did not sit well with Colbert. Playing a clip of a reporter asking how this new public charge policy wouldn’t unfairly target Latino immigrants, Colbert mocked Cuccinelli’s attempt to bring his own Italian heritage into the discussion.

“Luckily,” Colbert began, speaking as Cuccinelli, “we’re not having this conversation 100 years ago, or else I wouldn’t be here today to pull up the ladder between me and my family. Suck it, Hispanics! You’ve been Cooched!”

Colbert then played another clip of the press asking the USCIS chief how the new immigration policy comported with the poem’s embrace of “poor” and “wretched” refugees.

“I’m certainly not prepared to take anything down off the Statue of Liberty,” Cuccinelli responded. “We — we have a long history of being one of the most welcoming nations in the world. I do not think, by any means, we’re ready to take anything off the Statue of Liberty.”

“We don’t want to take anything away from that poem,” Colbert added, again as Cuccinelli. “Ultimately we want to just add one word: ‘Psych!’”

Watch the video above, via CBS.

Correction: This post initially identified Ken Cuccinelli as the head of ICE. Cuccinelli is the current Acting USCIS chief.

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