US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the top immigration agency in the United States, claims that marketing the benefits of US citizenship to immigrants is a way to blunt the prospect of home-grown terrorism. The agency made the claim to the Senate Immigration and National Interest Subcommittee.
“In furtherance of DHS’s mission to safeguard the homeland, [USCIS] is committed to fostering integration and community cohesion,” the agency claimed in response to the subcommittee’s concerns over the recent arrest of six men from Somalia in Minnesota on terrorism charges and how this relates to the wider problem. “USCIS engages and supports partners to welcome immigrants, promote English language learning and education on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and encourage US citizenship.”
The hearing came after an earlier hearing in April regarding the plan by the Obama administration to give minors from Central America who are related to undocumented immigrants already living in the United States parole or refugee status, and even have them flown into the US. USCIS says that in 2013 it decided against a parole program that would actively track such refugees, believing that it was unwarranted, but admitted that it would be willing to reconsider the proposal.
The United States is expected to allow entry to between 1,000 and 2,000 refugees from Syria in the 2015 fiscal year, USCIS revealed, while acknowledging that it has no statistics on how many more refugees could be expected in years to come.