The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently changed its mission statement to remove the section describing the U.S. as “a nation of immigrants.” Before the recent change, the USCIS’s mission 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.”
With this new change, the current mission 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.”
As noted by the bolded and underlined sections above, the new mission statement reflects President Trump’s “American First” foreign policy agenda (a policy which also instituted the Travel Ban and the proposed Border Wall).
The new mission statement also moves away from referring to agency applicants as “customers”. When asked about this, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna announced in an email letter that use of the word customers “leads to the erroneous belief that applicants and petitioners, rather than the American people, are whom we ultimately serve.”
Overall, this change in mission statement echoes the heightened scrutiny that our firm has seen when dealing with responses from USCIS.
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Victoria Gentry is an associate attorney with The Immigration Group, P.C. practicing exclusively in the areas of work visas and employment-based green cards. She first became interested in immigration law when her stepfather emigrated from El Salvador to the United States. Now she enjoys assisting corporate clients with a variety of immigration needs including international transfers, visa eligibility, and the green card process. She works primarily with professionals in IT, Engineering, Finance, Pharmacy, and Insurance.