President Joe Biden has nominated Harris County Sheriff Ed González to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the Department of Homeland Security, according to a White House brief sent out Tuesday (April 27).
González was elected as Sheriff of Harris County, which includes the city of Houston, in 2016, and was reelected in 2020. Harris County has the largest sheriff’s department in Texas and the third largest in the United States.
González was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump’s immigration policies during his four-year tenure as president. In 2019, González posted to Facebook that he was not in favor of the sweeping immigration raids the Trump administration wanted to execute, so they could deport “millions of illegal aliens.”
“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.,” González wrote at the time. “The focus should always be on clear and immediate safety threats.”
While Sheriff of Harris County, González ended a program that would train his deputies on how to determine the immigration status of prisoners, so they could be deported, and was opposed to state legislation that would go after sanctuary cities.
At the time, González says he was “concerned about…creating a climate of fear and suspicion that could damage our efforts to reinforce trust between law enforcement and the communities we serve.”
All Biden’s nominees will need to receive a majority of votes from the U.S. Senate to be confirmed. The Senate is split 50-50 down party lines. Vice President Kamala Harris can break any ties during the confirmation process.