United States: The welcome change to the USCIS mission statement
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created by President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to integrate 22 federal departments, including what was formerly known as the Immigration and naturalization. Now commonly referred to as Legacy INS, the INS handled all immigration processes, law enforcement, and border security. With the creation of DHS, Legacy INS was restructured and split into different sections; specifically, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
For anyone in the field of immigration law 20 years ago, it was well known and understood that CBP and ICE would be the law enforcement sections focused on border security and enforcement, while USCIS would be responsible for client benefits such as permanent residency and US citizenship.
That’s why USCIS’s new mission statement, announced on February 9, 2022, is not only meaningful and welcome, but also brings the agency back into alignment with its original creation.
February 9, 2022 USCIS Mission Statement
“USCIS delivers on America’s promise as a nation of welcome and opportunity with fairness, integrity, and respect for all those we serve.”
In addition to the new mission statement, USCIS has added the following core values to its website, namely Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Vigilance. The new mission statement and more details about USCIS’ core values can be found here.
The February 9, 2022 mission statement and emphasis on these core values are significant changes almost three years from the date of USCIS’ previous mission statement, issued February 22, 2018.
USCIS’ previous mission statement, released on February 22, 2018, reflected a harsh stance that USCIS would no longer be seen as a client benefit agency, but rather as another arm of enforcement. of the law under the DHS. Some key changes were the removal of the terms “immigrant nation” and reference to “clients” that were present in the mission statement prior to 2018. With the removal of these terms, for three years USCIS maintained a mission statement that was less welcoming, less inclusive and clearly not focused on customer service but rather focused on law enforcement.
February 22, 2018 USCIS Mission Statement
“United States Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s legal immigration system, maintaining its integrity and promise by adjudicating applications for immigration assistance efficiently and fairly while protecting Americans , securing the homeland and respecting our values.”
For comparison, before February 22, 2018 USCIS Mission Statement
“USCIS secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and helpful information to our clients, providing immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting awareness and understanding of citizenship and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.”
As such, we welcome the February 9, 2022 critical change in USCIS’s mission statement, which will benefit the community, both individuals and businesses, and all of the clients we serve.
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