Refugee Congress Recognizes Anniversary of USCIS Mission Statement Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2020

WASHINGTONTwo years ago, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed its mission statement to remove a passage identifying the U.S. as a “nation of immigrants.”

On this anniversary, Refugee Congress recognizes this country’s long tradition as a nation of immigrants and will continue to amplify the important role immigrants have played and continue to play in building vibrant, thriving and engaged communities.

“Immigrants of all types are the core foundation of our nation,” said Nili Yossinger, National Director of Refugee Congress. “Their important role in our identity — past, present and future — is irreplaceable. We need to continue and build upon our long tradition as a country of welcome, particularly for those fleeing violence and persecution.”

The current Administration’s actions have placed discriminatory bans on immigration, endangered asylum seekers and sought to dismantle the popular refugee resettlement program through reduced admissions caps, allowing states and localities to block refugee resettlement and other actions.

“Refugees bring a spirit of gratitude to this country,” said Biar Atem, a Refugee Congress Board member and Delegate from Nevada who is a resettled refugee from South Sudan. “Sometimes those people who are fortunate to be born here the country for granted.”


Refugee Congress is a nonpartisan national advocacy organization built and led by former refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants to promote the well-being, integration and dignity of all vulnerable migrants. With delegates across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we use our voices and experiences to inform and influence decision-makers on critical domestic and international issues that affect our communities.

Kacy Kostiuk
Communications Manager
(202) 905-6238