Jul 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Senate confirms Ur Jaddou to head immigration agency

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Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

The Senate confirmed Ur Jaddou as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday.

Why it matters: The agency has not had a Senate-confirmed leader in over two years despite the critical role it plays in the immigration system, per BuzzFeed. Jaddou will be the first woman and first person of Arab and Mexican descent to step into the position.

  • USCIS is involved in providing work permits, screening asylum seekers and issuing green cards and naturalization, among other things.
  • Jaddou, the daughter of Mexican and Iraqi immigrants, joins the agency after the Trump administration shifted USCIS' focus to restricting entry to the United States. She previously worked under the Obama administration as a lead attorney at USCIS.
  • Jaddou has been the director of DHS Watch, a watchdog group focused on transparency and accountability in immigration, since 2018.

What they're saying: "It is my honor to congratulate Ur Mendoza Jaddou on her confirmation," Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

  • "Ur has two decades of experience in immigration law, policy, and administration. I look forward to working closely with her to rebuild and restore trust in our immigration system."
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