Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez’s nomination to lead ICE approved by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee

Needs full Senate’s vote next

Census Bureau Director nominee Robert Santos, left, and nominee for Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Ed Gonzalez, of Texas, listen to instructions as they arrive for a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing on their nominations, Thursday, July 15, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. If confirmed, Santos, a third-generation Mexican American, would be the first person of color to be a permanent head of the nation's largest statistical agency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (Jacquelyn Martin, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved on Wednesday the nomination of Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales to be Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The committee approved Gonzalez’s nomination in a 7-6 roll call vote during its business meeting. The next step for his nomination is a vote from the full Senate.

A date has not been set for when that vote will happen.

Gonzalez, whose jurisdiction includes the Houston metropolitan area, was nominated director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in April. If confirmed, he would be the first Senate-confirmed ICE director in four years. It is a job with broad responsibilities from border enforcement to dealing with drug trafficking and human trafficking -- all issues facing whoever is appointed.

Gonzalez would lead a team of 20,000 agents and employees, stretched perhaps like never before with the current southern border crisis. The sheriff said his experience with immigration as head of the nation’s third-largest sheriff’s office makes him an ideal candidate.

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