Biden taps Houston sheriff to lead ICE, limits immigration arrests at courthouses

President Biden on Tuesday nominated Ed Gonzalez, sheriff of Houston’s Harris County, to guide Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has been with out a Senate-confirmed director since 2017. Gonzalez was elected sheriff in 2016, after 18 years with the Houston Police Division. He publicly criticized former President Donald Trump’s mass deportations and ICE raids on nonviolent immigrants, and he withdrew Harris County from a federal partnership that approved sheriff’s deputies to implement immigration legal guidelines. Gonzalez did honor ICE requests to carry suspects for as much as 48 hours, as required underneath Texas regulation.

Harris County’s sheriff’s workplace is the third largest in the U.S., with a workers of 5,000. If confirmed by the Senate, Gonzalez will oversee greater than 20,000 staff at an company with an $eight billion funds and high-profile mandate. “Response to Gonzalez’s nomination was predictably extra favorable amongst immigration advocates than opponents,” The Associated Press notes.

Biden has moved to reverse many however not all of Trump’s hardline immigration insurance policies, together with, on Tuesday, limiting ICE’s authority to arrest undocumented immigrants at courthouses. Trump in 2018 finalized a coverage permitting ICE to routinely apprehend immigrants at federal, state, and native courthouses. Underneath the brand new coverage, ICE will solely be capable to detain folks if nationwide safety or public security are at stake, plus just a few different exceptions, Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned. The Biden administration additionally mentioned it would concentrate on dismantling migrant smuggling networks.

Biden has additionally recently nominated Tucson, Arizona, police Chief Chris Mangus to guide U.S. Customs and Border Safety and Ur Jaddou, an immigration lawyer who labored within the Obama administration, as head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies.

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