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'Nation of Immigrants' Removed From Immigration Agency's Mission Statement

'Nation of Immigrants' Removed From Immigration Agency's Mission Statement

Candidates for US citizenship take the oath of allegiance during a Naturalization Ceremony for new US citizens at City Hall in Jersey City, New Jersey, on February 22, 2017. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 23 February 2018 01:00 PM

The "nation of immigrants" passage in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services mission statement has been removed in an update of the declaration, the website The Intercept reported Thursday.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services director L. Francis Cissna announced the agency's new mission statement to staff members in an email Thursday, according to The Intercept. Cissna said he hopes the new mission statement will clear up any "false impression" about the agency.

The old 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," The Intercept noted.

The new statement now 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."

Cissna emphasized the removal of the word "customer" in the change, adding that he believes this new "simple, straightforward statement clearly defines the agency's role in our country's lawful immigration system," he wrote.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services assumed responsibility for the immigration service functions of the federal government in 2003 after the Homeland Security Act of 2002 dismantled the former Immigration and Naturalization Service and separated the former agency into three components within the Department of Homeland Security, according to the agency's website.

Federal immigration and naturalization agencies date back to 1891 when the Office of Superintendent of Immigration was created and placed in the Treasury Department, USCIS stated.

"What we do at USCIS is so important to our nation, so meaningful to the applicants and petitioners, and the nature of the work is often so complicated, that we should never allow our work to be regarded as a mere production line or even described in business or commercial terms," Cissna wrote in his letter.

"In particular, 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 continued.

The Washington Post pointed out that Cissna himself is the son of immigrants.

“The immigrant experience has always been a fundamental part of my family life, and I would be proud to carry that heritage with me,” Cissna said at his confirmation hearing in May, according to the Post.

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The "nation of immigrants" passage in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services mission statement has been removed in an update of the declaration, the website The Intercept reported Thursday.
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2018-00-23
Friday, 23 February 2018 01:00 PM
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