USCIS has changed its mission statement again – this time to adopt a more immigration-friendly stance.

In 2018, USCIS, under the Trump Administration, changed its mission statement to align with President Donald Trump’s focus on enforcement, strict scrutiny, and extreme vetting. The statement did not emphasize customer satisfaction, i.e., the satisfaction of petitioners, applicants, and beneficiaries. The change in emphasis was stark and did not go unnoticed. Instead, the mission statement focused on protecting and serving the American people and ensuring that benefits were not provided to those who did not qualify or those who “would do us harm ….” The 2018 statement did not speak of the United States as a “nation of migrants” and it focused on efficiency while “protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.”

The new 2022 USCIS mission statement reflects President Joe Biden’s belief that “new Americans fuel our economy as innovators and job creators, working in every American industry, and contributing to our arts, culture, and government.” Accordingly, he has issued executive orders directing the various immigration agencies to reduce unnecessary barriers to immigration. The 2022 mission statement also reflects President Biden’s directions and USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou’s “vision for an inclusive and accessible agency.” Director Jaddou “is committed to ensuring that the immigration system . . . is accessible and humane . . . [serving] the public with respect and fairness, and lead with integrity to reflect America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility today and for generations to come.”

According to Director Jaddou, USCIS will strive to achieve the core values of treating applicants with integrity, dignity, and respect and using innovation to provide world-class service while vigilantly strengthening and enhancing security. On February 3, 2022, Director Jaddou, along with her deputies, briefed the nation on the agency’s efforts to improve service at USCIS. The leaders of the agency made clear that USCIS knows it must continue to eliminate backlogs, cut processing times, reduce unneeded Requests for Evidence and interviews, eliminate inequities in processing times across service centers and improve the contact center, among other things, to achieve its goals. Using streamlining and technological innovation, USCIS hopes to make itself much more consumer-oriented.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.