Posted on November 17, 2020

Biden’s Picks for Transition Team the Latest Sign of a Radically Different Approach to Immigration

Adam Shaw, Fox News, November 14, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden is months away from taking office, and he hasn’t named his Cabinet yet, but there are already signs from his transition team of the radically different approach to immigration he intends to take once in office.


The Biden transition team this week announced its Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency review team, and it would appear that it is on track to take that swing away from the Trump administration once in office.

The agency review teams are formed to evaluate the current operations of their respective agencies and to ensure that the new administration is set up in a correct posture to achieve its policy goals once in office.

Heading the DHS agency review team is Ur Jaddou. Jaddou was chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under then-President Barack Obama, and is now the director of DHS Watch at America’s Voice — which calls for reforms to “put 11 million undocumented Americans on a path to full citizenship.” {snip}


Also on the DHS team is Andrea Flores, who was regional policy director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, after serving on President Obama’s Domestic Policy Council and at DHS.

Flores worked on the 2013 attempt at an immigration reform bill, and also the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — which protects illegal immigrants who came to the country as children from deportation, and that Trump has unsuccessfully sought to scrap.


Also on the team is Blas Nunez-Neto, a former Senate Committee on Homeland Security adviser now working at the RAND Corporation. In a 2019 article, he called for an expansion of the use of “non-restrictive detention options” for immigrant families, access to legal counsel, new ways to allow immigrants to apply for visas in their home countries and larger immigration court capacity.

The new direction is also reflected on the Biden transition’s Department of Justice team, which includes Cristina Rodriguez, who served in the Obama DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and is now a Yale law professor and an expert at the Migration Policy Institute.


“It is imperative to undo the damage wrought by the Trump administration’s current policies, and to use every tool of executive authority to move our immigration system closer to one that aligns with the country’s realistic interests and highest ideals,” she wrote.