The agency in charge of immigration services in the country, the US Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS), made significant changes to the entity’s
mission statement. One of most jarring aspects of these changes is the
removal of the phrase “nation of immigrants.” As of now, the
mission statement stresses "safeguarding its integrity" and "securing the
One USCIS official revealed that “the agency's new mission statement
was developed and debuted within the agency by USCIS Director Cissna during
his first conference with USCIS senior leadership from around the world.”
According to the insider, the altered mission statement “reflects
the director's guiding principles for the agency. This includes a
focus on fairness, lawfulness and efficiency, protecting American workers
and safeguarding the homeland. These key priorities are reflected in the
agency's new mission statement."
The mission statement of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services now reads:
"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's
lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently
and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting
Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values."
This is what the old mission statement looked like before the changes were
made by USCIS:
"USCIS secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants by
providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration
and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of
citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system."
Speaking about these changes, a former Department of Homeland Security
official suggested that the original mission statement assured the agency’s
dedication to maintaining "America's promise as a nation of immigrants."
However, after the changes were made to the mission statement, USCIS Director
L. Francis Cissna sent a message to employees that states:
“We answer to the American people who look to us to ensure that people
who are eligible for immigration benefits receive them and those who are
not eligible -- either because they don't qualify or because they
attempt to qualify by fraud -- don't receive them, and that those
who would do us harm are not granted immigration benefits.”
In addition to changing the mission statement, USCIS will no longer call
applicants “customers.” While Cissna claims the change is
to remind the agency “that they are “always working for the
American people,” no explanation was given for removing the phrase
“America's promise as a nation of immigrants."
Eleanor Acer, senior director for refugee protection at D.C.-based Human
Rights First, released the following statement about the new changes:
"Our nation is one built by immigrants—removing this language
does nothing to change that fact, it only reveals the insidious racism
harbored by those in this administration. It is clear from the language
and policies put forth by President Trump and his hard-line immigration
extremists that they will stop at nothing to demonize and dehumanize immigrants
and refugees, who have often fled violence and persecution in search for
a better life for themselves and their children."
At Sintsirmas & Mueller Co. L.P.A., we take on all immigration cases. Contact our Cleveland team of immigration lawyers
today if you need help resolving an immigration dispute.