The US government may have shut down, but the Democratic Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo was determined to keep the Statue of Liberty open for business.
"The concept of closing the doors to immigrants is repugnant to the concept of America."Governor of New York
Making the announcement he spoke about the symbolism of the Statue for generations of American immigrants:
"The Statue of Liberty is symbolic for what's going on right now in Washington. The issue is about immigration and the sense that some people have that this country should close the doors and stop immigration. And speaking for myself, and on behalf of many New Yorkers, we have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor, Statue of Liberty, America, New York, are all about immigration. It's all about welcoming people, it's all about bringing people here. The concept of closing the doors to immigrants is repugnant to the concept of America. That's what we've been arguing for years.
We're all sons and daughters of immigrants. Unless you're a Native American, you are an immigrant. I know people like to think, well I've been here a long time, I'm no longer an immigrant. You are an immigrant. Denial is not a life strategy. I am an immigrant. My grandparents were poor Italian uneducated people who came here, who couldn't speak the language, who couldn't read, but they wanted an opportunity to work. And they did their best and they gave back to this country. They had a son who became governor, they had a grandson who became governor. That's what America is all about. And in many ways, this shutdown in Washington, to me takes us back to that fundamental concept, which is they are against immigration. They want to close the doors and we want to keep them open."