The USCIS Mission Statement is part of the problem.
With the announcement of his Immigration Plan, President Trump has redefined how we should be looking at immigration and immigrants to these United States. His proposal clearly puts the interests of America and Americans over the wants of foreigners. He has started to reframe the terms of the discussion, which is critically important. When the folks on the left want to enact radical change, they almost always start with changing the language; “homosexual,” becomes “gay;” taking the life of an unborn child,” becomes “right to choose;” and, “Illegal Alien,” becomes “undocumented immigrant.”
Once an illegal alien has committed a crime by coming here illegally and/or remaining, it’s easier to engender sympathy by reframing the discussion by calling him/her an “undocumented immigrant fleeing oppression.” This is the first step in changing our immigration focus from American interests, to the interests of people who have little chance of enhancing the American experience by their presence here.
One way to reassert control of the terms of discussion, is through the Mission Statements of the various Federal agencies. Mission Statements (along with vision statements in the civilian world) are used to communicate in one sentence, the purpose of each agency. In that one sentence, Mission Statements answer the following: Who, What, When and most important, Why. How is left for the vision statement and other detailed documents.
Here is the current Mission Statement for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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.
Let’s have a look using the standard, Who, What, When, Where & Why.
Who: Citizen & Immigration Services
What: Administer the nation’s lawful immigration system
When: Ongoing (implied)
Where: U.S. Territory & Select foreign Locales (implied)
Why: Not listed.
The most important part of the mission statement is not stated. “Safeguarding its integrity and promise,” along with, “honoring our values,” are constraints placed on the basic mission and belong elsewhere.
Let’s refocus and build a better Mission Statement.
Who: USCIS (No Change)
What: Administer the nation’s lawful immigration system (No Change)
When: No Change
Where: No Change
Why: In order to promote the legal entry of those alien applicants who are most likely to be of benefit to these United States and to prevent the entry of those who would be harmful to that end.
Restated Mission: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system on a continuing basis, in order to promote the legal entry of those alien applicants who are most likely to be of benefit to these United States and to prevent the entry of those who would be harmful to that end.
Gone are the touchy-feely words such as “safeguarding its integrity and promise” and “ honoring our values.” Those are all wonderful things, but they have no place in a concise, focused mission statement. In their place, is the ‘Why.” Why are we doing this? Answer: We are doing this for the benefit of these United States and the Americans who live here. Everything else is fluff.
This detailed discussion might come across as “pole vaulting over mouse turds,” but with a simple, almost innocuous change, we’ve shifted focus away from the desires of foreigners, many of them who are uneducated, low skilled, criminal, or carriers of communicable diseases. We are now focused on the needs of hard-working Americans who are paying the bills for this multi billion dollar enterprise while continuing to suffer the ill effects of unfettered immigration.
Here is the best part. Although most of President Trump’s Immigration Plan will require Congressional legislation, a simple directive to CNS can easily enact a change to its Mission Statement. I would encourage the President to do so. As I’ve said in many a previous article, words have meaning. Until we can wrest back control of the terms of the discussion, we can’t fix aberrant policy.
Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.
Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583
You can find his other Red State work here.