Trump’s Immigration Service Says We Are No Longer “A Nation of Immigrants”


In a memo yesterday, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security, dropped the phrase “a nation of immigrants” from its mission statement. White nationalist groups had criticized the agency for years for calling the United States “a nation of immigrants,” contending that the United States was founded by white native-born men for white native-born men.

Until yesterday, the USCIS, which processes and adjudicates applications for legal permanent residence and citizenship, had this 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.

The new statement focuses mainly on security issues. It reads:

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.

Breitbart News explained the reason it opposed the use of the term “a nation of immigrants”:

That term is used by progressives and CEOs to suggest that there are no shared ideas among the 270 million Americans which differentiate them from the roughly 50 million immigrants who were born outside the United States.

The creation of clear line of separation between immigrants and the native-born white majority is one of the primary goals of the Alt-Right. Immigrants will not be on notice, says Breitbart; “the USCIS will emphasize immigrants’ duty to assimilate into Americans’ vibrant, small-government culture.”

Many in the Alt-Right see the United States as corrupted by the arrival of non-white immigrants. While one strand of the radical white tendency advocate the creation of break-away white ethno-states, others believe that a shift away from a color-blind immigration policy will assure the continuation of white political and economic dominance.


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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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