Senate Committee Advances Biden’s ICE Nominee, Again
FAIR Take | February 2022
Once again, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) voted to advance the nomination of FAIR-opposed Ed Gonzalez, a pro-sanctuary sheriff, to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The vote occurred on partisan lines, with all Republican senators on the committee opposing his nomination.
President Joe Biden first nominated Ed Gonzalez to lead ICE last year, but had to re-nominate him in early January because he did not receive a floor vote prior to December 31. Gonzalez is the current sheriff of Harris County, Texas, and was a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies despite having no experience in immigration or federal law enforcement.
Gonzalez has a long history of opposing immigration enforcement, and is particularly critical of local law enforcement authorities cooperating with ICE, the very agency Biden tapped him to lead. As a sergeant in Houston’s police department, Gonzalez said: “I do not support ICE raids that threaten to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom do not represent a threat to the U.S. The focus should always be on clear and immediate safety threats. Not others who are not threats.”
Gonzalez does not have any federal law enforcement or immigration-related experience. As the Harris County sheriff, Gonzalez managed a staff of 5,000. ICE has a staff of over 20,000 and a budget of $7.6 billion. Gonzalez does not have the experience in immigration law enforcement or in management to rise to the responsibility of managing a federal agency with the size and mission of ICE.
Most notably, as the sheriff of Harris County (which includes all of Houston), Gonzalez ended the county’s 287g policy which allowed some sheriff’s deputies to enforce federal immigration laws. These 287g policies are force multipliers for ICE and give local law enforcement the tools to help promote public safety. It is disturbing that Biden nominated someone so openly hostile to such an effective enforcement tool.
The effect of disastrous non-enforcement immigration policies favored by the current administration impacted the Harris County Sheriff’s Department (HCSD) in recent days. An illegal alien shot and killed Cpl. Charles Galloway, a 12-year veteran of the HCSD. The illegal alien who killed Cpl. Galloway is a citizen of El Salvador, and is wanted for homicide in his home country. He also had a lengthy rap sheet in the United States and has committed crimes in the U.S. since at least 1996. The policies of anti-enforcement politicians create the conditions that lead to tragedies like this. The question is – will this tragedy force Gonzalez to reexamine his own anti-enforcement tendencies?
FAIR continues to oppose the nomination of Ed Gonzalez to lead ICE and will lobby every senator to vote against his confirmation when it reaches the floor.