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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.

GOP Rep. Gonzalez retires in face of Trump-backed primary

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R) announced his retirement on Thursday, declining to run against a Trump-backed primary challenger in 2022.

Why it matters: Gonzalez has suffered politically since siding with House Democrats to impeach the 45th president after the Capitol riot.

Swing voters oppose Texas abortion law

Protesters at a rally at the Texas State Capitol. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images

All 10 swing voters in Axios’ latest focus groups — including those who described themselves as "pro-life" — said they oppose Texas' new anti-abortion law.

Why it matters: If their responses reflect larger patterns in U.S. society, this could hurt Republicans with women and independents in next year's midterm elections. The swing voters cited overreach, invasion of privacy and concerns about frivolous lawsuits jamming up the courts.