27 May 2021

United States

Biden’s Nominee to Head USCIS Pledges to Reduce Backlog

President Joe Biden’s nominee for Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Ur Mendoza Jaddou, pledged to resolve increased processing times and put a dent in backlogged immigration applications during a May 26, 2021 nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. 

Ms. Jaddou, who was nominated for the position on April 12, 2021, has nearly 20 years of immigration policy experience, including three years as Chief Counsel for USCIS under former President Barack Obama. Most recently, she served as Director of DHS Watch, a project of the non-profit America’s Voice.  Ms. Jaddou is the child of immigrants—her mother is from Mexico and her father is from Iraq—and was born and raised in California. 

In her testimony before the Committee, Ms. Jaddou highlighted her previous experience at USCIS as giving her “a running start” at understanding and undoing bureaucratic hurdles that contribute to processing delays. Her top goals for the agency are fiscal solvency, reduced backlogs, and an upgrade to modern technology, but she remains committed to ensuring that USCIS processes applications “fairly, efficiently, and in a humane manner.” 

The confirmation hearing concluded without a vote on Ms. Jaddou or the other nominees who testified. USCIS has not had a Senate-confirmed Director since Lee Francis Cissna, who was compelled to resign in May 2019.   

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