The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is making a drastic change to their mission statement, going from embracing people of other cultures, to an “America First” dichotomy. In an e-mail to staff members on Thursday, obtained by The Intercept, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna announced the new statement:
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.
This a is a far cry from the previous statement, which was still on the USCIS’s website as of Thursday:
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.
Gone is one of the oldest and truest American ideals, that we are “a nation of immigrants.
Cissna wrote to the staff, “I believe this simple, straightforward statement clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people.”
What he was most bothered with in the original statement was the word “customers.”
“Use of the term leads to the erroneous belief that applicants and petitioners, rather than the American people, are whom we ultimately serve,” he wrote.
When the Intercept asked about the removal of the iconic phrase, USCIS Chief of Media Relations Jonathan Withington wrote, repeating Cissna’s statement nearly word for word, “The statement speaks for itself and clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and commitment we have to the American people.” (emphasis added for comparison)
Under President Trump, even immigration services are anti-immigrant.