WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is on a course to remake the face of immigration in America in ways that would turn it whiter and wealthier.

It is a dramatic editing of the American catechism welcoming “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses , yearning to breathe free,” inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, to “your tired and your poor who can stand on their on their own two feet and will not become a public charge.”

The administration official who offered that rewrite, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, affirmed on Wednesday that his words were intentional, including his added notion that the poem was written for Europeans. He said in a statement that his agency “is tasked with enforcing the law, not a poem.”

It’s another defiant step in President Trump’s long march to change the way the nation thinks about immigrants, an approach he hopes will win over enough voters to earn him a second term. He’s added another layer of certainty that the 2020 campaign will be deeply rooted in a cultural battle over national identity.

But he faces an accompanying danger that his hard line will further energize Democrats, alienate suburban women and prompt a swell of newly registered Latino voters. Democrats have been quick to charge that the enforcement pivot the administration announced on Monday — to block many legal immigrants who receive public benefits from being granted green cards — was rooted in sowing racial animus.

Experts say the rules would likely reduce immigration from Mexico and Central America, while increasing it from other regions, especially Europe.

Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin are Associated Press writers.