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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.
The Justice Department sued Texas on Friday over Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) executive order restricting transportation of undocumented migrants.
Driving the news: The DOJ is asking a federal judge to block the order immediately. It's the latest clash between Texas and President Biden's Justice Department.
The Biden administration on Friday resumed fast-track deportation flights to Central America, the Department of Homeland Security announced.
The big picture: Officials said Monday that they were planning to resume "expedited removal flights" following an increase in the number of migrants crossing into the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, the Washington Post reports.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) urged President Biden on Friday to name Obama-era Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to a special role focused on dealing with migration at the border.
Why it matters: Republicans have seized on the spike in border crossings as one of their most consistent criticisms of the Biden administration. Vice President Kamala Harris had previously been tasked with addressing the migrant surge and its root causes.
The new White House strategy for improving conditions in Central America to slow migration includes helping to build resilience to climate change.
Why it matters: Climate change is increasingly understood as one of many drivers of human displacement, both within and across borders, due to flooding and other extreme weather, effects on food security and more.
The first plane with more than 200 Afghans who served as interpreters, contractors or other ally roles for the U.S. military has arrived in the U.S. — the first of many such flights as troops are withdrawn from the region.
Why it matters: More than 700 Afghan allies and their families are preparing to be brought into the U.S. in the coming days on special immigrant visas. More than 70,000 Afghans have received those since 2008.
Vice President Kamala Harris has big goals for improving conditions in Central America to help slow migration from the region toward the United States.
Driving the news: Senior administration officials unveiled five sweeping goals during a call on Wednesday: Bettering economic prospects; rooting out corruption; promoting human rights, labor rights, and a free press; preventing gang violence; and combating sexual, gender-based and domestic violence.
Unaccompanied migrant children detained in the U.S. Fort Bliss Army base in Texas live in poor mental and physical conditions, according to a whistleblower complaint submitted to Congress and government watchdogs on Wednesday.
Why it matters: The complaint corroborates reports of migrant children's distress in the camps overseen by the Biden administration. The president has faced criticism for his response to the record surge in unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the southern border.
President Biden will meet with 11 Democratic members of Congress at the White House Thursday to discuss the next steps for providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented migrants brought to the U.S. as children, a White House official told Axios.
Why it matters: Congressional Democrats plan to try to pass pathways to citizenship for so-called Dreamers, TPS holders and undocumented essential workers in the upcoming reconciliation package. Biden also has consistently called on Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday barred people from providing ground transportation to migrants detained by Customs Border Patrol for illegally crossing the border — a move that gives the state's Department of Public Safety (DPS) authority to stop and reroute "any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion" of violating the order.
Why it matters: Abbott cites the recent surge in COVID-19 cases as the basis for the order, though the governor has refused to mandate masks in the state. The move comes amid record crossings at the southern border.