On February 9, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its new mission statement:
“USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.”
The new mission statement, USCIS says, reflects feedback from the agency’s employees on words they feel best illustrates the agency’s work, as well as the priorities of the Biden administration and USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou’s vision for inclusivity and accessibility.
With the announcement, Direct Jaddou released the following statement:
At its core, USCIS is about delivering decisions to families, businesses, workers, and those seeking refuge in our country on their applications, petitions, requests, and appeals. This new mission statement reflects the inclusive character of both our country and this agency. The United States is and will remain a welcoming nation that embraces people from across the world who seek family reunification, employment or professional opportunities, and humanitarian protection.
The work of USCIS makes the possibility of America a reality for immigrants, the communities and economies they join, and the nation as a whole. At USCIS, we know that every time we grant an immigration or naturalization benefit, we are fostering the opportunity to help us build a stronger America. And when we offer refuge to those in need of protection we are living up to our nation’s highest ideals.
USCIS is committed to ensuring that the immigration system we administer is accessible and humane. As we look towards the future, my commitment will remain the same – USCIS will continue to serve the public with respect and fairness, and lead with integrity to reflect America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility today and for generations to come.
This change comes four years after the Trump administration removed the phrase “nation of immigrants” from the agency’s mission statement and shifted the agency’s focus to “safeguarding its integrity” and “securing the homeland” – in what the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) called an “insidious attempt by the Trump administration to diminish the valuable contributions that immigrants have made” to the United States.
While the latest version of the agency’s mission statement does not replace the former “nation of immigrants” language, it does reflect a return to the idea that the United States is “a nation of welcome and possibility” and the value of USCIS as a benefits-focused agency.
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