U.S. immigration agency removes ‘Nation of Immigrants’ from mission statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. The agency in charge of U.S. immigration services has updated its mission statement to no longer include the phrase “nation of immigrants.”

Instead, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ new mission statement emphasizes “safeguarding its integrity” and “securing the homeland.”

The new statement was announced to the agency’s employees Thursday, according to a USCIS official.

“The agency’s new mission statement was developed and debuted within the agency by USCIS Director Cissna during his first conference with USCIS senior leadership from around the world,” the official said. “It reflects the director’s guiding principles for the agency. 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 updated statement was first reported by The Intercept.

The full new 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.”

According to a former Department of Homeland Security official, the previous statement included the notion of securing “America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.”

“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 former mission statement provided by the former official said.

A letter from USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna to employees reads, “We answer to the American people who look to us to ensure that people who are eligible for immigration benefits receive them and those who are not eligible — either because they don’t qualify or because they attempt to qualify by fraud — don’t receive them, and that those who would do us harm are not granted immigration benefits.”