In a statement, Eleanor Acer, director of refugee protection at Washington-based advocacy group Human Rights First, said: "Our nation is one built by immigrants—removing this language does nothing to change that fact ... It is clear from the language and policies put forth by President Trump and his hard-line immigration extremists that they will stop at nothing to demonize and dehumanize immigrants and refugees, who have often fled violence and persecution in search for a better life."
The U.S. has been the top worldwide destination for international migrants since at least 1960, with about one-fifth of the world's migrants living there as of 2017, according to Migration Policy Institute, a think tank. More than 43 million immigrants lived in the U.S. in 2016, accounting for 13.5% of the total U.S. population of 323 million, according to American Community Survey data.
USCIS'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."
USCIS's previous 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."