The U.S. Senate voted today to confirm Ur Mendoza Jaddou as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. She will be the first woman to head the agency. The 47-34 vote was divided along party lines.

As USCIS director, Jaddou will lead the agency’s efforts to improve immigration policies and processes, including the implementation of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on restoring faith in the legal immigration system and the administration’s broader agenda to reduce barriers to legal immigration routes.

USCIS currently faces numerous challenges, including processing backlogs, financial solvency, staffing shortages and litigation over processing delays. Jaddou, who formerly served as USCIS Chief Counsel under the Obama administration, stated in congressional hearings, “My most immediate responsibilities, if confirmed, will be to return the agency to firm solvency, resolve dramatically increasing processing times and backlogs, and utilize 21st-century tools.”

Ahead of the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., stated, “The daughter of Mexican and Iraqi immigrants, Ms. Jaddou would be the first woman to ever lead the USCIS, and I am confident she has the skills, expertise, and experience to do the job well.”

Jaddou is the first congressionally approved USCIS director since 2019.

BAL Analysis: Jaddou’s confirmation is a welcome development and a step toward stabilizing USCIS, which has suffered from a confirmed leadership gap since 2019. Employment-based petitions and employment authorization documents will, hopefully, experience improvements in processing timelines in the coming months.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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