The director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, L. Francis Cissna, wrote an email about the change to USCIS employees on Thursday. A letter about the change from Cissna is also published on the agency's website.
美国公民与移民服务局局长L. 弗朗西斯·希斯纳(L. Francis Cissna)周四在一封写给单位员工的电子邮件中提到了这一改变。该机构的官方网站上也发表了一封来自希斯纳的邮件提到了这一变化。
The new mission statement says: "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."
Cissna said he believes "the simple, straightforward statement clearly defines the agency's role" in carrying out immigration laws and responsibilities to the American people.
The earlier mission statement said the agency "secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants..."
The phrase "nation of immigrants" has a long history in American political speeches. Most recent presidents from both political parties, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, have used the phrase to describe America.
It is thought to have been used as far back as the 19th century. It described a country where people of many cultures and nationalities added to what has been long described as a "melting pot."
The phrase also appears as the title of a book, "A Nation of Immigrants," by former president John F. Kennedy. The book was published after this death.
这个词也成为了前任总统约翰·肯尼迪（John F. Kennedy）撰写的《移民国家》一书的标题。这本书是在肯尼迪死后出版。
Cissna said that he no longer wants the agency to call immigration applicants and petitioners its "customers." He said he believes the agency is meant to first serve "the American people."
U.S. Census Bureau information from 2014 shows that there were at least 42 million immigrants, both legal and illegal, in the country. That number has continued to grow.
Critics say the mission statement change raises questions about the country's continued willingness to accept immigrants. They note the importance of America's promise to those coming to this country.
The new statement for the immigration agency does keep the word "promise" in it.
The inscription on the Statue of Liberty in New York City reads "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
The lines do not have the word "immigrant" in them, nor does the poem that the inscription is based on. However, it is clear what the subject of the inscription truly is.
I'm Mario Ritter.