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Guest Contribution: rtd Comments on the Deletion of “a Nation of Immigrants” from USCIS Mission Statement

Guest Contribution: rtd Comments on the Deletion of “a Nation of Immigrants” from USCIS Mission Statement

Anonymous reader rtd took issue with my characterization of the modification of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in this post, characterizing it as “…disingenuous at best and to me seems to be grossly negligent…”. He takes up my invitation to write his comprehensive response, for which I thank him/her.

[Update 2:05PM Pacific: reader rtd prefers this introduction; I am happy to oblige]

Anonymous reader rtd took issue with my incomplete modification of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services mission statement in this post. This post no longer reflects its initial state and I have altered it numerous times. Reader rtd characterized my original blog post as “…disingenuous at best and to me seems to be grossly negligent…”. He takes up my invitation to write his comprehensive response, for which I thank him/her.

For complete information, the original text is in blue in the post in question.


You ask “Please explain why my characterization of the change is either disingenuous or negligent.” It was disingenuous because it wasn’t complete. It was negligent by neglecting other changes. This all despite being authored to be a representation reflecting the totality of changes within the USCIS mission statement. This is how people tend to read edited material – everything stays except the strikethrough.

You ask “Is it true or not that the mission statement is now as indicate” (I’m assuming you intended to say “indicated” – if not please let me know). This is not true as the mission statement now 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.” You’re correct that “previously it included the struck-out words” but in err in thinking it’s currently as your edits indicate.

You ask “Did I write that the White House had directed the change.” You did not write that nor did I claim that you wrote that.

You request that I “Please tell me what one single item is inaccurately relayed in my post.” What is inaccurate is your representation that the mission statement is now: “USCIS secures America’s promise 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.” Whereas this is incomplete.

You claim “The only statement that is subject to interpretation is: “America under Mr. Trump is transmuted.” If you disagree, and you believe that this specific statement is disingenuous, please state as such.” This is false as it can be very easily interpreted from your initial post that the mission statement only changed as indicated in the strikethrough. This is an extremely common way to interpret edited writings as I noted is a common practice in comparing FOMC statements (e.g. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/31/the-feds-monthly-meeting-heres-what-changed-in-the-new-statement.html and many others). FWIW, I agree that “America under Mr. Trump is transmuted.”

You state “I would be happy to post your response as an independent guest post, as a critique of my post.” I would be honored to join Dr. Hamilton as a member of this blog.

You request that I “be concise and detailed in your response, so all can see what sort of person you are.” I hope I have fulfilled your request and shown “all” that I appreciate honesty and completeness even in political blogging from economists.

You say “Thank you in advance for your time and considered opinion.” I say “you’re quite welcome”.


This post written by rtd.

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