Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announces decision to withdraw from consideration of becoming nation’s ICE director

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has withdrawn himself from consideration in becoming the nation’s Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Gonzalez made the announcement to the public via Twitter Monday afternoon, and made President Joe Biden aware of his decision the night before.

More than a year has passed since President Biden nominated Gonzalez for the position, which has not had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration.

“I arrived at this decision after prayerfully considering what’s best for our nation, my family, and the people of Harris County who elected me to serve a second term as sheriff,” Gonzalez tweeted. “I am grateful to President Biden for the honor of nominating me, and I wish this administration well as it strives to overcome the paralyzing political gridlock that threatens far more than our nation’s border. Frankly, the dysfunction threatens America’s heart and soul.”

Gonzalez went on to say this his love for America and his desire to serve during these contentious times is stronger than ever. He added that ensuring the safety and security of the people of Harris County is a great honor, and he is fully devoted to continuing to fulfill the responsibility.

Biden nominated Gonzalez, who leads one of the nation’s most populous counties, to lead the agency that deports people in the country illegally.

Gonzalez, a seasoned law enforcement official, has sharply criticized Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies in the past.

“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.,” he wrote on Facebook in July 2019. “The focus should always be on clear & immediate safety threats. Not others who are not threats.”

Gonzalez expressed concern then about driving “undocumented families further into the shadows,” discouraging them from reporting crimes to authorities.

If confirmed, Gonzalez would have guided an agency with more than 20,000 employees and an annual budget of $8 billion. It manages the world’s largest network of immigration jails and includes Homeland Security Investigations, which looks at a wide range of international crimes including money laundering, antiquity theft, child pornography and human smuggling.

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