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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."

Go deeper

ACLU to ask court to end Biden administration's use of Title 42

Central American migrants being expelled from the U.S. on March 29, 2021. Photo: HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP via Getty Images

The ACLU is returning to court with the Biden administration over the U.S. government's continued use of Title 42 — a public health order that's allowed border officials to turn back migrant families to Mexico without the chance for asylum.

Why it matters: The administration had plans to end the Trump-era policy last month but reconsidered because of renewed concerns around the coronavirus, including the Delta variant. Biden's refusal to end the policy has frustrated Democrats and immigration advocates.

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."