President Biden Selects Two Vocal Trump Administration Critics to Lead Immigration Agencies

On April 12th, 2021, President Biden announced his selections for two key immigration positions, the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the head of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). According to reporting from The Hill, President Biden has selected
Chris Magnus for CHP and Ur Jaddou for USCIS—both vocal critics of the immigration policies of the Trump Administration. Here, our  immigration lawyers explain the implications and what happens next.

President Biden Nominates Trump Administration Critics for CBP and USCIS

In the first few months of his presidency, Joe Biden has shifted away from the draconian immigration policies pursued by President Trump. Among other things, this includes signing executive orders to reverse Trump Administration policies, replacing the former president’s political allies, and revoking Proclamation 10014. Now the Biden Administration is selecting two open and vocal critics of the Trump Administration to take key immigration positions:

  • Chris Magnus Nominated to Lead CBP: Chris Magnus, the Police Chief of Tucson, AZ, has been nominated to serve as the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Mr. Magnus gained national attention for speaking against the previous administration’s anti-immigrant policies and supporting racial justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter.
  • Ur Jaddou Nominated to Lead USCIS: Ur Jaddou, the Director of DHS Watch and former counsel of the USCIS, has been nominated to serve as the head of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Ms. Jaddou was also a consistent and vocal opponent of President Trump’s immigration agenda. As an example, she forcefully pushed back on the Trump Administration’s “public charge” rule, which set up a significant barrier to low and middle income immigrants.

The leaders of administrative agencies play an important role in setting the agenda in the coming years. In appointing open critics of recent policies, the Biden Administration is continuing to reinforce its break with the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.

Both Selections are Subject to Confirmation By the United States Senate

Neither Chris Magnus nor Ur Jaddou will immediately assume their positions. Both CBP and USCIS are agencies that fall under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As such, the top position in both agencies is subject to confirmation in the United States. Notably, the Senate is currently divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris in a position to break any ties. Thus far, the Biden Administration has been able to confirm most of its selected nominees. Only one pick, the proposed head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has been withdrawn thus far. The Senate confirmation is set to begin in the coming weeks.

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