I ran USCIS. This is a nation of immigrants, no matter what mission statements say.
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I ran USCIS. This is a nation of immigrants, no matter what mission statements say.

I had the privilege of serving as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2014 to 2017. One of my favorite activities was to travel to our offices throughout the United States, meeting staff members and speaking to them about their work. One day, I might be observing a naturalization interview; another day, I might be speaking to an officer in the Fraud Detection and National Security directorate about a marriage-fraud investigation. One day that stands out particularly in memory was when I attended a graduation ceremony for newly sworn in USCIS officers at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C., in 2017. A senior supervisor, a veteran who was among the many proud “legacy INS” professionals in the agency, reminded the new adjudicators of a simple formula for their new jobs: “the right benefit for the right person at the right time.” Continue reading