The US government agency responsible for granting visas, green cards and naturalizations has changed its mission statement, a reversal of a Trump-era shift that had pushed the immigration service provider towards a focus on internal security.
The new mission statement of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reads: “USCIS fulfills America’s promise as a nation of welcome and opportunity with fairness, integrity and respect for all we serve.”
USCIS Director Ur Jaddou announced the agency’s new mission in a statement on Wednesday, saying “the United States is and will remain a welcoming nation that welcomes people from all over the world.”
“At its core, USCIS is about making decisions to families, businesses, workers, and those seeking refuge in our country on their petitions, petitions, applications, and appeals. This new mission statement reflects the inclusiveness of our country and this agency,” said Jaddou.
The inclusion of the phrases “welcoming nation and opportunity” and “respect for all we serve” contrasts with the Trump-era statement that was implemented by the then USCIS director, Lee Francis Cisna, in 2018.
“United States Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s legal immigration system, maintaining its integrity and promise by adjudicating applications for immigration benefits efficiently and fairly while protecting Americans, securing the homeland and upholding our values,” reads Cissna’s version of the mission statement.
The changes reflect political divisions over how immigration should be handled and, to some extent, the broader debate over whether the United States should expand avenues for immigrants to enter the country legally. country.
The agency’s original mission statement, established in 2005, included the phrase “a nation of immigrants”, which was dropped by Cissna.
The phrase did not return in the agency’s third mission statement, but the emphasis on services reflects the character that Jaddou tried to instill in the agency.
It also comes amid a debate over how much federal funding should be spent on an agency that historically relied solely on immigration fees to survive.
Last week, Jaddou advocated for more funding for the agency to eliminate a growing visa backlog partly created by the coronavirus pandemic and partly by slowdowns and staff reassignments under the Trump administration.
“The work of USCIS makes America’s possibility a reality for immigrants, the communities and economies they join, and the nation as a whole. At USCIS, we know that every time we grant an immigration or naturalization grant, we promote the opportunity to help us build a stronger America. And when we provide sanctuary to those in need of protection, we uphold our nation’s highest ideals,” Jaddou said in his statement on Wednesday.