Ur Mendoza Jaddou is Counsel in our Immigration Practice in the firm’s Washington, DC office. Previously, she served as Chief Counsel to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and as Chief Counsel to the House Immigration Subcommittee. She offers strategic immigration advice to a range of clients that include corporations, hospitals and research institutions, universities, trade associations, media outlets, and individuals facing complex immigration issues. In a field that is constantly changing, she has unique expertise to provide insight and guidance on changes in immigration policies and administration affecting businesses and other organizations.
Ms. Jaddou also has unparalleled expertise in government relations and communications. She is widely considered by government personnel and the community at large as a leading expert in immigration policy. She has briefed staff of the U.S. Congress, and has made hundreds of radio and print media appearances.
As USCIS Chief Counsel, Ms. Jaddou provided legal counsel to the agency and interacted with the General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other DHS immigration component counsel. She directed a legal program of almost 300 attorneys advising an agency of 19,000 employees and worked with other agencies to address various legal matters, including the Department of Justice on litigation, the Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Department of State on visa matters, and the Department of Labor on labor certification issues. Previous to this position, Ms. Jaddou led the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs as Deputy Assistant Secretary and the U.S. House of Representatives as the Chief Counsel of the House Immigration Subcommittee.
Ms. Jaddou continues to gain reliable and unparalleled knowledge as the Director of DHS Watch, a project of America’s Voice, created in 2018 to uphold transparency and accountability by exposing harmful immigration policies, poor infrastructure, scarce resources, and mismanagement of federal immigration institutions. She is also an adjunct professor at American University, Washington College of Law where she teaches an advanced course on business immigration law.
- Provide strategic advice to for-profit and non-profit entities, as well as individuals, on the rapidly changing immigration law and policy landscape.
- Advise for-profit and non-profit entities seeking to litigate on immigration matters.
- Provide government relations and communications advice regarding immigration law and policy.
Honors & Awards
- Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) “Top Lawyers Under 40”
- NAFSA Congressional Staff Champion Award
Publications and Speeches
- “Role of Immigrants in Coronavirus Response & Recovery,” Panelist, Committee on Homeland Security Virtual Forum, May 13, 2020.
- “Former DHS Officials Discuss COVID-19 and its Impact on Immigrants,” Moderator & Participant, Press Call, April 8, 2020.
- “Playing Politics with Humanitarian Protections,” Panelist, Congressional Briefing with Senator Menendez, November 7, 2019.
- “USCIS’s Systematic Restriction of Legal Immigration Under the Trump Administration,” Panelist, Congressional Staff Briefing, December 6, 2019.
- “Panel Discussion on Donald Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration,” Panelist, Federal Bar Association, February 8, 2017.
- “Government Agency Update – Open Forum,” Panelist, AILA Conference, April 8, 2016 and April 17, 2015.
- “Summary of Executive Action on Immigration,” Summary, Federal Bar Association, Immigration Law Section, December 10, 2014.
- “Barriers to Education for Immigrant Children,” Speaker, American University School of Law, September 25, 2010.
- “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” Panelist, Practicing Law Institute 43rd Annual Immigration & Naturalization Institute, April 23, 2010.
- “Update on Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” Speaker, National Association of Latino Elected Leaders Board Meeting, July 20, 2010.
SELECTED MENTIONS IN THE PRESS
- “Trump Administration Faces Bipartisan Calls to End Citizenship Delays,” June 17, 2020, The New York Times
- “USCIS Seeks Surcharge to Immigration Applications,” May 19, 2020, The Wall Street Journal
- “Legal Immigrants at Risk of Losing Status During Coronavirus Pandemic,” March 26, 2020, The Hill
- “Assessing the Trump Administration’s New Visa Policy for Pregnant Women,” January 25, 2020, National Public Radio
- “New Trump Rules Could Deny Green Cards to Immigrants on Public Assistance,” August 12, 2019, The Los Angeles Times
- “Where the Trump Administration’s Policy Stands Now,” July 30, 2019, National Public Radio
- “Is Denaturalization the Next Front in the Trump Administration’s War on Immigration,” December 19, 2018, The New York Times
- “The Man Behind Trump’s Invisible Wall,” September 20, 2018, Politico Magazine
- “Trump Administration Defends Its Immigration Policy,” May 29, 2018, The Wall Street Journal
- “Why It’s Taking Washington So Long to Unravel Work Permits for H-1B Spouses,” May 8, 2018, The San Francisco Chronicle
- President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, Legal Advisory Council, Member (January 2019 - present): Provide insight and recommendations on legal matters for the Alliance to pursue as part of its mission to support undocumented, other immigrant and international students and scholars in higher education.
- American Bar Association (ABA), Commission on Immigration, Civil Detention Standards Advisory Task Force Member (November 2011 – April 2012): Provided expert advice to develop detention standards for the ABA House of Delegates and for consideration by the Department of Homeland Security to ensure appropriate care of immigrants in detention facilities.
News, Events & Insights
UCLA School of Law, J.D.
Stanford University, M.A.
Stanford University, B.A.
- DHS Watch, A Project of America’s Voice, Founding Director
- Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Office of Chief Counsel, Chief Counsel
- U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law, Washington, DC, Chief Counsel
- American University School of Law, Adjunct Professor
Areas of Practice
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Supreme Court