America is no longer a country of immigrants, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Homeland Security component changed its official mission statement on Thursday.
USCIS, which is responsible for granting visas and US citizenship, is now describing itself as an organization that “administers the nation’s lawful immigration system”. More so, the updated mission statement forgoes the term “customers” when referring to visa applicants.
According to a letter to his employees, USCIS director, L. Francis Cissna, explained that the changes were a “straightforward statement that clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people.”
Cissna also explained why the new mission statement no longer refers to visa applicants as “customer”. According to the director, using this term would lead to the “erroneous” notion that applicants and petitioners for US citizenship are the parties for which the agency serves rather than “the American people”.
There was no specific explanation as to why USCIS stopped describing America as a nation of immigrants.
Cissna became USCIS’s director in October 2017, after President Trump’s election. Trump has been pushing for harder immigration rules, as to prevent illegal aliens or other undesirables from reaching the US. He intends to admit only 45 thousand refugees this year. President Obama had originally set 2017’s cap at 110 admissions, however, Trump lowered that to about 50 thousand.
According to State Department data, over 6 thousand refugees have been admitted in the US this year, currently.
Eleanor Aces, director of refugee protection at Human Rights First, said that removing the language that refers to America as a nation of immigrants does not eliminate the country’s identity. Aces criticised President Trump and immigration extremists for their attempts to “dehumanize” immigrants and refugees.
Image Source: Pixabay