Former USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna removed “immigrant nation” from the statement four years ago. In 2018, he revised the statement to say that USCIS “administers the nation’s legal immigration system, maintaining its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating applications for immigration benefits while protecting Americans.” , securing the homeland and respecting our values”.
The revamped version of the Biden administration was quickly hailed by immigrant advocates.
Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, a refugee resettlement organization, said the new mission statement is “very clearly rooted in our shared values of welcome and integrity”.
“The language is much more inclusive and intentionally provides a new foundation upon which the administration can rebuild the agency,” she said.
Nicole Melaku, executive director of the National Partnership for New Americans, a network of immigrant advocacy groups, said the new mission “affirms USCIS’ role in upholding the values of the United States as a nation of hospitality and opportunity, and the need for the agency to conduct its work with fairness, integrity and respect.
The shift is the latest effort by the Biden administration to set a new tone on immigration after years of discriminatory rhetoric against immigrants.