In a memo distributed to staff Thursday afternoon, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—the agency tasked with processing citizenship for applicants—announced it has scrubbed a passage of its mission statement of references to the U.S. being a nation of immigrants. Oooo-kay.
The Intercept received a copy of the message, written by agency director L. Francis Cissna. In it, Cissna said the change makes USCIS’s statement a “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.”
The new passage removes a clause that refers to USCIS’s role as one that “secures America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.”
For comparison, here is the old mission statement:
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.
And here’s the new one:
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.
The decision, per a USCIS statement to The Intercept, is effective immediately. The agency declined to explain why it did so.