President Joe Biden is looking to fill a five-year vacancy at the top of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the deportation agency within the Homeland Security Department.
To fill the void, Biden has tapped Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of Harris County, Texas. However, they’ve run into one problem: Gonzalez’ scandal over allegations of domestic violence.
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Houston Community College police officer Frederick Portis reportedly responded to a call over an “alleged domestic dispute” involving Gonzalez. Portis spoke about the incident in a sworn affidavit.
The Daily Mail obtained a copy of this affidavit, which remains behind a paywall. The Mail described it in lurid detail.
According to the Mail, Gonzalez lashed out after learning of his wife’s affair with the college’s chancellor.
“The chancellor spoke up and said that Mrs. Gonzalez wanted to file a complaint against her husband, Sheriff Gonzalez, because of suggested violence she had experienced at her home at the hands of the sheriff,” Officer Portis recounted in the affidavit, according to the Mail.
The officer accused Gonzalez of “becoming physical or violence with Mrs. Gonzalez because of her romantic relationship with the chancellor.”
Normally, the president nominates ICE directors, and the Senate confirms them. However, the Senate is dragging its feet on Gonzalez. Some congressmembers want more time to investigate these claims.
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“It would be irresponsible for the Senate to vote on the confirmation of Sheriff Gonzalez to be Director of ICE until we determine whether the allegations outlined in the attached affidavit are true,” Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., reportedly wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Homeland Security Committee Chair Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich. The letter was obtained by The Washington Times.
“The ‘good old boy’ culture that currently exists within our agency needs to end and the next Director must be a person of honor and integrity, who leads by example, holds themselves and their managers to the highest standards, is determined to end mismanagement, incompetence, and misconduct within our agency and adhere to the rule of law,” Chris Crane, president of the ICE’s labor union, wrote in another letter to Peters, according to The Washington Times.
“Federal law enforcement agencies are entrusted by the American people to enforce laws passed by our elected representatives, and to do so in an honorable, humane, and respectable fashion, and must meet the highest standards of trust and excellence,” Crane continued. “The leaders of federal law enforcement agencies must therefore be beyond reproach.”
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The ICE has gone without a permanent director since the presidency of Barack Obama. For the last five years, the agency has only used acting directors. The past two presidents’ nominees, including Gonzalez, have all stalled in the Senate.
Under Trump, the agency saw eight different acting directors. One held the office for two-nonconsecutive terms. Another held the office for only 10 days.
Biden has been trying to put somebody in charge. Still, he has faced criticism from some Democrats keen on abolishing ICE altogether.
The Horn editorial team