It’s official, the US is not a ‘nation of immigrants’

Donald Trump
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

After over a year of anti-immigration rhetoric from the president, the agency whose job it is to oversee green cards and citizenship has changed their mission statement. They have removed the line that defined the US as a “nation of immigrants.”

Lee Francis Cissna, the director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), recently told employees in a letter that the statement was altered in order to “guide us in the years ahead.”

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“U.S.C.I.S. 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,” read the original mission statement.

It has been changed to read, “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.”

According to Cissna, the new statement “clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people.”

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The overhaul also saw the removal of any reference to non-US nationals as “customers.” Cissna said this served as “a reminder that we are always working for the American people.”

The removal doesn’t surprise those familiar with President Donald Trump’s campaign promises or his rhetoric when it comes to immigrants, both legal and illegal. Before he took office, he swore he would curb immigration, in most cases focusing on Muslim and Latinx communities.

The Trump administration has also been hard at work deporting undocumented immigrants as well as ramping up raids and targeting what they call “sanctuary cities.”

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Trump has announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This directive had granted protections to hundreds of thousands undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US by family as children.

The current administration has also taken away Temporary Protected Status from those from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who fled turmoil in their home countries.