This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new mission statement after asking its employees to "submit words that they felt best illustrated the agency's work." The new mission statement reflects that feedback, along with Biden administration priorities and Director Ur Jaddou's "vision for an inclusive and accessible agency," USCIS said in a news release on February 9, 2022. The agency has 19,000 employees and contractors working at more than 200 offices worldwide.
The new mission statement says, "USCIS upholds America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve." The USCIS mission statement web page also lists and describes the agency's "core values," including integrity, respect, innovation and vigilance.
The new mission statement, with its emphasis on welcoming and respect, reflects USCIS's restoring of the agency's focus on services. The revision is a shift away from the previous administration's changes emphasizing security and dropping the phrase, "America's promise as a nation of immigrants."
In a statement announcing the new mission statement, Director Jaddou said, "At its core, USCIS is about delivering decisions to families, businesses, workers, and those seeking refuge in our country on their applications, petitions, requests, and appeals. This new mission statement reflects the inclusive character of both our country and this agency."
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) "applauded" the new mission statement. Benjamin Johnson, AILA Executive Director, said the new statement "hopefully signals a return to a welcoming, service-driven USCIS that faithfully administers its statutory purpose with integrity."