Biden to nominate Texas sheriff to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

President Biden will nominate Ed Gonzalez, a sheriff from Texas and critic of the Trump administration’s deportation policies, to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the White House said on Tuesday.

Mr. Gonzalez would take over an agency that has not had a permanent leader since 2017, even as public scrutiny grew over enforcement of deportation policies. The Trump administration cycled through six leaders since 2017 and none were ever confirmed by the senate. Mr. Gonzalez was elected sheriff of Harris County, Texas, which includes Houston, in 2016.

“With a distinguished career in law enforcement and public service, Sheriff Gonzalez is well-suited to lead ICE as the agency advances our public safety and homeland security mission,” said Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary. “I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm Sheriff Gonzalez to this critical position.”

Mr. Biden has vowed to reform ICE, directing the agency, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, to prioritize deporting recent border crossers, those who commit aggravated felonies or people who pose a threat to national security. Former President Donald J. Trump gave agents broad leeway to deport any undocumented immigrant. Mr. Trump’s stance energized some Democrats to call for the agency to be abolished.

Mr. Biden has resisted such demands, instead pledging to rein its enforcement powers. ICE agents will now have limits on the ability to arrest undocumented immigrants at courthouses, the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.

Neither Mr. Gonzalez nor Chris Magnus, the nominee to head Customs and Border Protection, have ever worked at the Department of Homeland Security. Both officials have, however, publicly criticized the Trump administration’s immigration agenda, including deportation raids.

Mr. Gonzalez said that those raids threatened to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, many of whom posed no immediate threat to the United States.

As sheriff of Harris County, Mr. Gonzalez also in 2017 withdrew from a partnership with ICE that allows local police to pick out undocumented immigrants in county jails for deportation.

Mr. Gonzalez, a former member of the Houston City Council who served 18 years in the city’s police department, will also be tasked with uniting an at-times divided agency. While ICE is known for carrying out deportations of undocumented immigrants, that work is mainly done by just one branch of the agency. The other, Homeland Security Investigations, conducts longer-term investigations into smuggling, terrorism and sex trafficking.


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