A common refrain from liberals opposed to any sort of immigration policy reform is that America is a “nation of immigrants,” and any move that reduces the amount of immigrants permitted into the country is “racist” and “not who we are” as a country — lines often repeated by former President Barack Obama.
Thus, it was not the least bit surprising to see the Obama acolytes in the liberal media become offended and outraged when it was announced that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Services, had changed their mission statement and removed the key phrase “nation of immigrants,” as well as the word “customers” to describe those who most benefit from their policies.
NPR, one of many liberal media outlets to express great dismay at the change, noted that the old USCIS 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 new statement as seen on the USCIS website 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.”
Michael Cutler, a former INS agent writing for Front Page Mag, cheered the development and noted that the new USCIS mission statement appeared to be more in line with the “America First” principles of the Trump administration, as it explicitly put the interests of American citizens ahead of those of immigrants.
He also recalled how during his time working for INS, it seemed as though the “customers” served by the agency were immigrants seeking entry, and pointed out how the common business world ideal of “the customer is always right” had spread through the agency and led to many agents viewing it as their duty to stamp “yes” on immigrant applications, even if the person’s entrance would not be beneficial for American citizens.
Cutler’s hope is that the new outlook embodied in the new USCIS mission statement will allow for agents to better scrutinize applicants and weed out those who would defraud the system, become a drag on society, or even worse, be terrorists taking advantage of the system to gain entry into the country.
Of course, as previously noted in the NPR article, leftists have decried the new mission statement as being “racist” and anti-immigrant, and even insinuated that the changed statement was foisted upon USCIS by President Trump himself, as he is obviously a “hard-line immigration extremist” who “will stop at nothing to demonize and dehumanize immigrants and refugees.”
But according to the Washington Examiner, that isn’t the case at all, as per an email from USCIS Director Francis Cissna and a statement from an unnamed agency official.
To the accusation that the changed statement came directly from Trump, the official stated, “The White House did not direct USCIS to change its mission statement. It was developed and debuted within the agency by USCIS Director Cissna during his first senior leadership conference with USCIS staff, and reflects the director’s guiding principles for the agency. The new mission statement also has the support of the secretary of Homeland Security.”
In an email to agency staff explaining the changed mission statement and focus on serving American citizens first rather than immigrants, Cissna wrote, “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.”
As to the removal of the word “customers” from the mission statement, Cissna also seemed to touch on what Cutler had noted in regard to the loaded meaning of the term in the business world sense.
“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,” Cissna wrote.
“Use of the term leads to the erroneous belief that applicants and petitioners, rather than the American people, are whom we ultimately serve,” he added. “All applicants and petitioners should, of course, always be treated with the greatest respect and courtesy, but we can’t forget that we serve the American people.”
This is an awesome, and quite welcome, change in perspective by the new leader of the agency charged with overseeing which immigrants are permitted entry into the country. The fact that Obama’s minions in the media are outraged that non-citizens will no longer be given preference over the interests of American citizens is quite telling as to where their true priorities lie.
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