The White House has announced Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonazalez would be nominated to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Gonzalez was a vocal critic of the Trump administration, and in particular, the former president’s immigration policies. In 2019, Gonzalez took to Twitter to say such policies “drive undocumented families further into the shadows,” while doing nothing to promote public safety.
During his tenure, he withdrew from the 287(g) program that transfered undocumented immigrants to ICE custody. But critics say the move did little to actually stop ICE from issuing detainers: At the beginning of March, 788 people in the Harris County Jail were being held on an immigration detainer, according to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards.
He’s also been considered by many to be one of the more criminal justice reform-minded sheriffs in the country. During his tenure, he supported bail reform, and testified against Harris County’s misdemeanor cash bail practices, despite himself being a defendant in the case that eventually led to those practices being found unconstitutional.
Gonzalez is a former member of the Houston City Council who was first elected to sheriff in 2016, and was reelected last year.
A spokeswoman for Gonzalez directed questions to the White House, which declined to make him available for an interview.
A senate hearing on Gonzalez’s nomination has not yet been set.