America first. A novel concept for government


#1

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department announced that they will move towards an ‘America First’ approach to their responsibilities. They now promise to prioritize the the interests of American citizens in their decision-making as well as consider national security and safety as their primary concern moving forward.

Why this wasn’t the case before is beyond me. Here’s the full statement by current USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna:

“In my short time as director of USCIS, I continue to be impressed by the commitment and dedication that employees throughout the agency have shown toward our common goals. USCIS employees are passionate about upholding the rule of law and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. I’ve always known this and have seen it confirmed again and again in my meetings with you during visits I have made to field offices and service centers. To reflect these principles, and to guide us in the years ahead, I am pleased to share with you our agency’s new mission statement:

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.

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.

The American people, through Congress, have entrusted USCIS with the stewardship of our legal immigration programs that allow foreign nationals to visit, work, live, and seek refuge in the United States. We are also responsible for ensuring that those who naturalize are dedicated to this country, share our values, assimilate into our communities, and understand their responsibility to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

What we do at USCIS is so important to our nation, so meaningful to the applicants and petitioners, and the nature of the work is often so complicated, that we should never allow our work to be regarded as a mere production line or even described in business or commercial terms. In particular, 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. Use of the term leads to the erroneous belief that applicants and petitioners, rather than the American people, are whom we ultimately serve. 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.

USCIS employees take pride in helping prospective immigrants who desire to be part of our country, but they are also dedicated to ensuring we have an immigration system of which we can be proud. We answer to the American people who look to us to ensure that people who are eligible for immigration benefits receive them and those who are not eligible – either because they don’t qualify or because they attempt to qualify by fraud – don’t receive them, and that those who would do us harm are not granted immigration benefits. Thus, as we begin our work under the banner of our new mission statement, we will also go forward by ending use of the term “customer” as an agency when referring to applicants or petitioners – a reminder that we are always working for the American people.

It is a pleasure serving with you as we continue to faithfully administer and protect the integrity of our nation’s lawful immigration system.”

The primary importance emphasized on American safety is welcomed news. However, USCIS still has lots of work to do. For example, USCIS has spent $3.1 billion trying to update their archaic IT system over the last decade. This egregious government is waste is the reason conservatives generally have a problem with bigger government.

In addition, USCIS dropped the ball when processing DACA recipients, resulting in up to 50% of all DACA recipients being fraudulent. This is according to a former manager over at USCIS, Matt O’Brien.

If USCIS is serious about putting America first, they could start by looking into these basic issues they already have.


#2

Shouldn’t this have always been their priority and been the primary factor in their decision making?


#3

Within this context, I wish they would make the process a hell of a lot more expedient. It should not take an agency 1 to 4 years to decide the disposition of an applicant. The process is convoluted, expensive and its rules place undue hardship on people who apply. The process itself is of an indeterminate length and once completed expects you to jettison your present life and move to the US in a rather small window. If the US is seeking people who are talented and have careers that are helpful to the US, you cannot expect them to put their world on hold during the process nor can you expect them to extract themselves from jobs, homes and assets because they receive a letter in the mail that says… ‘OK, you are approved, drop everything hand get here now’…


#4

Yes it should have always been the policy however the politically correct policy has been the policy that’s been in place for years.


#5

And Cissna acknowledged that he has always known that that’s what the dedicated employees of USCIS have done all along. He’s just adding a jingoistic new ms.

In my short time as director of USCIS, I continue to be impressed by the commitment and dedication that employees throughout the agency have shown toward our common goals. USCIS employees are passionate about upholding the rule of law and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system. I’ve always known this and have seen it confirmed again and again in my meetings with you during visits I have made to field offices and service centers. To reflect these principles, and to guide us in the years ahead,


#6

The USCIS, the federal agency tasked with granting visas and citizenship, has changed to a new statement that “clearly defines the agency’s role in our country’s lawful immigration system and the commitment we have to the American people,” according to a letter sent to employees by agency director L. Francis Cissna that was obtained by NBC News.

“The agency’s new mission statement was developed and debuted within the agency by USCIS Director Cissna during his first conference with USCIS senior leadership from around the world," a USCIS public affairs officer said in a statement to NBC News. “It reflects the director’s guiding principles for the agency. This includes a focus on fairness, lawfulness and efficiency, protecting American workers, and safeguarding the homeland.”