published on February 23, 2018 - 2:07 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — The head of the federal agency that grants visas says he has a message for anyone who considers his new mission statement anti-immigrant: “A thousand times no.”

Francis Cissna told The Associated Press on Friday that he cut a reference to the U.S. being a “nation of immigrants” from Citizenship and Immigration Services’ mission statement because he felt it didn’t belong on what he called a bureaucratic document. He says it’s undisputed that the U.S. is a nation of immigrants but that the phrase is more appropriate for a monument.

Cissna says he was surprised by criticism after announcing the statement to 18,000 employees on Thursday. He says the White House had nothing to do with the change.

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