Leftists who are currently celebrating Emma Lazarus of course know little about her. She was a most remarkable woman for her time and place. She was a proto-Zionist who helped found the Society for the Colonization and Improvement for Eastern European Jews, and that looked to the establishment of a home land for Jews in what is now Israel. Leftists of course are appalled at that example of open borders immigration, leftists never being known for consistency. She came from a family of Sephardic Jews who had resided in New York long before the American Revolution.
The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, was entitled Liberty Enlightening the World. It was intended to celebrate the abolition of slavery. However, there was a catch to the gift: Americans would have to raise the funds to build the pedestal of the Statue. The poem of Ms. Lazarus was part of fundraising efforts in 1883. She also wanted the poem to highlight the Russian Jews pouring into New York City to begin a new life in the New World. Emma would live to see the Statue dedicated in 1886, but sadly died of cancer the next year, age 38. Her poem would be inscribed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903. Her friend Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, a daughter of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, was inspired by the poem to found the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, dedicated to caring for the destitute suffering from incurable cancer.
If we could ask Miss Lazarus about her poem, I suspect that she would say that it was a celebration of the fact that so many people have found a new home in America, and that legal immigration poses complexities that are for the representatives of the people to decide and not poets.