U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the agency has unveiled a new mission statement. In 2018, the Trump administration controversially removed the words “nation of immigrants” from the mission statement of the federal agency responsible for administering immigration benefits, issuing visas and green cards, and naturalizing immigrants as U.S. citizens.
The new mission statement reads: “USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.”
Following the announcement, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, issued the following statement:
“As the nation’s largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated to serving refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable immigrants in the US, LIRS welcomes USCIS’s new mission statement, which is very clearly rooted in our shared values of welcome and integrity. The language is far more inclusive and intentionally provides a new foundation on which the administration can rebuild the agency. It is a recognition that America’s promise does not solely refer to our nation’s boundless potential, but also to our obligation as leader of the free world to protect the most vulnerable.
Much like America’s refugee resettlement organizations, USCIS was targeted and driven to near insolvency under the prior administration. As the agency rebuilds capacity, it will also need to rebuild trust. Under the leadership of Director Jaddou, USCIS’s new mission statement is a notable step in the right direction and helps reimagine a new framework by which the agency can better serve new Americans and the communities to which they contribute.
There is still much hard work ahead to harness the full potential of the U.S. immigration system. LIRS will remain steadfast in working with USCIS to achieve this commendable vision. The people we serve depend upon USCIS to rebuild.”