Ur Mendoza Jaddou has been nominated by Biden, and has the support of Alejandro Mayorkas, for the position of USCIS Director. At her Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing, she declared that effective processing was “at the heart of a functioning immigration system.” As former Chief Counsel for USCIS, Jaddou believes her familiarity with the adjudication process makes her well equipped to solve the backlog and processing issues.
The daughter of immigrant parents, Jaddou is an attorney. From 2007 to 2011, she served as majority chief counsel to the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. From 2012 to 2014, she acted as deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Legislative Affairs for regional, global, and functional affairs. And from 2014 to 2017, she was Chief Counsel for USCIS, and responsible for coordinating the efforts of about 300 staff attorneys. This position required her to work with leadership of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the White House, and Congress.
Jaddou’s aims for USCIS
In Jaddou’s statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee at her nomination hearing, she spoke to her goals, if confirmed: “At the heart of a functioning immigration system is an agency that effectively processes immigration and naturalization applications under the law, like those of my family and so many others. This means that USCIS must process applications fairly, efficiently, and in a humane manner; be accessible, transparent, and accountable; and safeguard the integrity of the system; and ensure the security of the nation. 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.” When one senator questioned her about petition backlogs, she said her familiarity with USCIS processing gives makes her well equipped in addressing the problem of backlogs and improving processing efficiency. EB-5 processing expert Suzanne Lazicki has been critical of USCIS — but Lazicki is a big supporter of Jaddou. Regarding Jaddou’s nomination speech, Lazicki states, “These are precisely the words I wanted to hear.”
Why Jaddou is the right choice to lead USCIS and EB-5
Perhaps even more than investment amounts, the petition backlog and increased processing times are the biggest obstacle for potential EB-5 applicants. If processing can be improved and wait times decreased to more acceptable numbers, this will attract more applicants to the program. Jaddou will make improved processing a priority if she is confirmed. Further, she has the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “The Chamber is confident that she would continue to consider the views of the American business community on the issues that are critically important to the ability of many companies to meet their current and future workforce needs.” Understanding processing and being aligned with U.S. business are perfect traits for the next leader of EB-5. As the daughter of immigrants, and former USCIS Chief Counsel, Jaddou embodies the perfect blend of empathy and experience the position needs going forward. Read Lazicki’s blog on Jaddou.