Biden Announces Nominations for Key US Department of Homeland Security Positions

On 12 April, President Biden announced key nominations for leadership positions at the Department of Homeland Security. Here’s who you need to know.

On 12 April, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nominations for key members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Established in 2002, this federal executive department is responsible for U.S. public security, and includes departments that are critical to the mobility industry, such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), and the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans. The nominations must still undergo U.S. Senate confirmation.

Here is what mobility and relocation professionals should know about these three new nominees:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency responsible for administering the country’s naturalization and immigration system, including the issuing of critical workforce visas that employers rely upon for employee relocation. Biden’s nominee for Director is Ur Jaddou, a seasoned immigration law, policy, and administration professional who has previously served as Chief Counsel for USCIS between 2014 and 2017. She most recently was the Director of DHS Watch, a project of America’s Voice, where she “shined a light on immigration policies and administration that failed to adhere to basic principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability.”

Customs and Border Protection

The largest federal law enforcement agency in the U.S., U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) is the country’s primary border control organization. The nominee for USCBP Commissioner is Chris Magnus, the current police chief of Tucson, Arizona, a diverse city close to the U.S.-Mexico border. Throughout his lengthy career serving as police chief in multiple cities, he’s gained a reputation for progressive policies with an emphasis on relationship-building, evidence-based practices, promoting reform, and police accountability.

Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans

The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans at DHS is responsible for the overall coordination and unification of policies, strategies, and plans. It also collects and maintains immigration data and operates regional programs that are relevant to mobility, such as the REAL ID program and Visa Waiver Program. President Biden’s nominee for Under Secretary is Robert Silvers, a partner at the law firm Paul Hastings LLP. He has served in previous positions at DHS, including Deputy Chief of Staff and the Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy under the Obama Administration, which saw him lead the federal government’s response to significant cyber incidents.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The leaders of these federal organizations at the Department of Homeland Security will be critical to shaping and executing public policies that will ultimately affect workforce mobility and relocation, like employment-based immigration, and have impacts on issues like data privacy for the next four years. Once confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Worldwide ERC® will work to advocate to these policymakers and leaders to ensure any public policies impacting workforce mobility and relocation are agile, attentive to the needs of employers and employees, and support work anywhere. Should any member have questions, please reach out to our Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.