US Citizenship and Immigration Services Remove “Nation of Immigrants” from Mission Statement

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The tired, poor, and congested masses who yearn to breathe freely do not need to apply.

The United States’ citizenship and immigration services no longer use language describing the country as “a nation of immigrants” in its official mission statement, an agency official said on Thursday.

USCIS, the federal agency responsible for granting visas and citizenship, has changed to a new statement that “clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s legal immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people, ”according to a letter sent to employees. by Agency Manager L. Francis Cissna which was obtained from NBC News.

L. Francis CissnaReed Saxon / AP File

“The agency’s new mission statement was first developed and presented within the agency by USCIS Director Cissna during his first conference with USCIS senior management from around the world.” a USCIS public affairs official said in a statement to NBC News. “This reflects the director’s guidance. Principles for the agency. This includes an emphasis on fairness, legality and efficiency, protecting American workers and safeguarding the homeland.”

The previous mission statement stated that the agency “delivers America’s promise as nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our clients, by granting immigration and citizenship benefits, by promoting awareness and understanding of citizenship, and by ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.

The new statement now reads as follows:

“The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services administer the country’s legal immigration system, upholding its integrity and promise by effectively and fairly processing applications for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland and honoring our values. “

A man holds a US Citizenship and Immigrations Service envelope during a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives Museum on December 15, 2015 in Washington.Carlos Barria / Reuters

Cissna also said the new mission statement would also no longer refer to visa applicants as “clients” because the term “fosters an institutional culture that emphasizes the ultimate satisfaction of applicants and petitioners, rather only on the correct judgment of such requests and petitions according to the law. He added that the term implied that the agency serves anyone other than “the American people.”

A choice of President Donald Trump, Cissna was sworn in as the director of USCIS in October.

The change in wording has not been welcomed by some pro-immigration groups.

“Our nation is a nation built by immigrants – removing this language doesn’t change that fact, it only reveals the insidious racism maintained by members of this administration,” said Eleanor Acer, Senior Director of Refugee Protection. to Human Rights First, in a statement. “We cannot separate ‘immigrants’ from ‘Americans’ – we are intrinsically linked as children, parents, neighbors and loved ones. In seeking to distinguish between the two, the administration is turning its back on the proud history of our nation and engages in dangerous revisionism activities. “


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