Mission Accomplished: USCIS Bows to Immigration Lobby



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has shortened, and weakened, its mission statement to amorphously declare that the agency “upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve.” 

By deleting critical verbiage about “safeguarding” the immigration system and “protecting” the American people, the Biden administration signaled its surrender to the mass immigration lobby.

FAIR called this “latest act of political theater”:

  • A direct conflict with “America’s promise” that is most clearly articulated by acts of Congress, which represent the will of the American people.
  • A failure to understand that the federal government works for the American people.
  • An obsessive commitment to undo every change made by the previous administration, regardless of need.

USCIS’s previous mission statement wasn’t broken, and didn’t need fixing. It reasonably declared, “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.”

“Driven by a desire to appease the advocates of unlimited immigration, the new mission statement fails to explain the agency’s statutory directive,” says Rob Law of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). “The American people are supposed to be the primary stakeholder in the immigration system, but the Biden administration has sent a clear message that ‘protecting Americans’ is not part of the consideration.”

The political brass at USCIS spent 10 months buffing and polishing its 20-word pronouncement while the financially fragile agency strains under a historic backlog of applications. Whatever “integrity” is left at USCIS, it appears that the president’s appointees were deaf to dedicated career staff responsible for adjudicating benefits and screening for fraud and security.

The “nation of welcome” phrase blurs USCIS’s raison d’etre, and the “all we serve” pledge echoes the “Get to Yes” mantra of former USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas (now the agency’s ultimate boss as Homeland Security secretary).

“If the ‘customer is always right’ in this context it means the alien always gets the immigration benefit,” Law concludes. “Based on the policies of the Biden administration thus far, the mission statement’s final clause can be translated as ‘rubberstamping approvals for all who apply.’”

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

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