The New Colossus, By Emma Lazarus

“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-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

— Emma Lazarus —

Since immigration is one of the topics at the forefront of politics nowadays, it seems fitting to share an excerpt from one of the world’s most renowned poems on immigrants. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking of Emma Lazarus’ poem, The New Colossus, engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, here in the United States of America. Did you know most countries allow people to acquire birthright citizenship through one of two ways: Jus Soli and Jus Sanguinis?

Jus Soli is Latin for “right of the soil” and refers to a person’s right to be a citizen of the country in which they are born. For example, if you’re born on USA soil, you’re automatically a USA citizen, regardless of where your parents are from.

Jus Sanguinis is Latin for “right of the blood” and refers to a person’s right to inherit their parent’s citizenship. For example, Canadian law states any person born to a Canadian citizen parent is automatically a Canadian citizen. 

It’s always been fascinating to me how we can easily define and label ourselves as belonging to this or that country, but we tend to miss the glaring detail that we all have a birthright to live on this earth. 

Today, with the select few in power deciding for all of us our birthrights, I wonder, what happens now? Are we not all tired and yearning to be free?

To read the full poem of The New Colossus, click here. 

3 thoughts on “The New Colossus, By Emma Lazarus

  1. Jade, I read the words Jus Soli the very first time here on your blog around April last year I think, and it made an impact on me then and stayed with me, our birthright is to be a human being, no race, colour or creed to discriminate us rather to celebrate our uniqueness. you are a force my friend, this piece once again and the writer’s quote is a landmark we all need to firmly plant on the road to solidarity as a human race.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes! Oh wow, I can’t believe you remember! This post is actually a repost of that first Jus Soli post, I wanted to change it up from then.

      “our birthright is to be a human being, no race, colour or creed to discriminate us rather to celebrate our uniqueness.” ~> You took these words right out of my head, Gina. I agree wholeheartedly!

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes i remembered and even had made in a note in my journal that year and kept your words in my heart.

        you are an amazing writer, your honesty and compassion flow with your pen.

        i just rearranged your words, this was your very heartfelt writing.

        Liked by 1 person

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