There are a few quotes and phrases that are so American — and so anodyne — that they amount to a kind of bipartisan lexicon, cited with equal fervor by Democrats and Republicans alike. For example:

Land of the free, home of the brave.

All men are created equal.

Liberty and justice for all.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

For more than a half-century, the litany has also included a phrase popularized by President John F. Kennedy: “A nation of immigrants.” Time and again, presidents and leaders of both parties have invoked those four words to lionize the contributions immigrants have made to the U.S. In 1981, for instance, Ronald Reagan invoked it: “Our nation is a nation of immigrants. More than any other country, our strength comes from our own immigrant heritage and our capacity to welcome those from other lands.”

Why, then, has the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which issues green cards and citizenship documents, deleted the phrase from its mission statement? Agencies are free to revise their mission statements, of course. But when the person in the Oval Office routinely employs nativist rhetoric, scapegoats foreigners, seeks lower levels of immigration, and makes it more difficult to obtain green cards and visas, it is nearly impossible to see the deletion as mere coincidence.