U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has officially changed its mission statement to emphasize lawful immigration and the protection of American citizens first and foremost, tossing some of the older language that put the focus on immigrants.
USCIS’ new mission statement is a “simple, straightforward statement” that “clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people,” USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna told staff in an email first acquired by The Intercept but also obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
USCIS’ decision to change its mission statement “reflects the director’s guiding principles for the agency,” agency officials told TheDCNF. “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 previous statement read:
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.
The new missions statement 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.
The new mission statement removes “nation of immigrants,” drops the word “customers,” and stresses the importance of ensuring that immigration is legal and in the best interest of the American people.
Cissna apparently took particular issue with the word customers in the previous statement, which indicated that the American immigration process should ultimately serve the needs of the applicants and petitioners, rather than the American people.
“Referring to applicants and petitioners for immigration benefits, and the beneficiaries of such applications and petitions, as ‘customers’ promotes an institutional culture that emphasizes the ultimate satisfaction of applicants and petitioners, rather than the correct adjudication of such applications and petitions according to the law,” he wrote in his email to staff.
“All applicants and petitioners should, of course, always be treated with the greatest respect and courtesy, but we can’t forget that we serve the American people,” he added.
The new statement is consistent with President Donald Trump’s assertion that “the United States must adopt an immigration system that serves the national interest.”
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