After going 14 months without a Senate vote, President Joe Biden’s nominee to run U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has withdrawn his name from the confirmation process.
Sheriff Ed Gonzales of Houston’s Harris County announced that he had informed the White House that he was no longer interested in leading the Department of Homeland Security agency, which he was nominated to head in April 2021.
Gonzales wrote in a tweet: “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. 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.”
But amid claims that he was the suspect in a domestic violence altercation with his wife, Melissa, Gonzalez’s rescission follows the Senate’s decision in March to delay his confirmation process.
For nearly two decades before becoming sheriff, Gonzalez worked for the Houston Police Department, where he spoke out against ICE, a federal agency that is responsible for detaining and deporting immigrants residing in the United States without permission, as well as carrying out major investigations that relate to homeland security.
After former President, Donald Trump opted to separate children from their parents as part of a zero-tolerance policy in 2018, the sheriff spoke out, and he also raised his voice again the following year when Trump vowed to go after “millions of illegal aliens.”
Gonzalez wrote in 2018: “Separating families who arrive at our border harms children and is an affront to American values. Children should not be in immigration detention, period.”
Gonzalez wrote on Twitter in July 2019: “I do not support #ICERaids 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 & immediate safety threats. Not others who are not threats,” adding that his sheriff’s department, the third-largest in the country, would not take part in any such federal operation.
Biden’s Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson faced criticism and scrutiny as well. Ketanji Brown Jackson was seen clapping after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made a comment about her country banning assault weapons. This took place whil Ardern was delivering a commencement speech for Harvard University graduates and Biden’s Supreme Court nominee was in attendance sitting to the back left of Ardern (our right).
Jackson, draped in what appears to be a black and white shirt with wiggly designs, can be seen in a video of the speech, clapping on the heels of Ardern’s comment about New Zealand’s ban on the particular weapons.
The Senate voted, earlier this year, in favor of confirming Jackson to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. In favor of confirmation, only three Republican senators voted, which were Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
When Justice Stephen Breyer retires, Jackson is slated to fill the vacancy that will arise.