Democrats Freeze Senate Confirmation Process for Joe Biden's ICE Chief

Democrats Freeze Senate Confirmation Process for Joe Biden's ICE Chief

Senate Democrats froze the confirmation process for President Joe Biden’s deportation chief on Tuesday amid unconfirmed allegations he abused his wife.

The March 8 decision was triggered by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who asked committee chairman Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), to focus on the allegations against Sheriff Ed Gonzelez, Biden’s nominee to head ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

“The affidavit, brought to my attention by the National ICE Council and Federal Police Foundation, outlines the incident,” Lankford said in his March 7 letter. He continued:

If these allegations of physical and violent domestic abuse are true, they are disqualifying for a law enforcement officer at any level and raise significant questions about the nominee… 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. The cloture motion should be immediately withdrawn until this matter is resolved.

Gonzalez and his wife reportedly maintain their innocence and deny the claims.

Here’s a statement from Ed Gonzalez’s wife denying that she accused her husband of domestic violence

— Ellen M. Gilmer (@ellengilmer) March 9, 2022

“A White House official said the administration still supports Ed Gonzalez’s nomination and urged swift confirmation,” Bloomberg Government reported.

The Hill reported:

Peters asked for unanimous consent to withdraw a procedural motion to advance Gonzalez’s nomination after Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) sent a letter to him and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) raising concerns about the allegations.

Gonzalez was nominated in April 2021, but his confirmation has been delayed by GOP opposition.

However, the GOP members of the Senate earlier allowed the fast-track confirmation of Gonzalez’s likely boss, pro-migration zealot Alejandro Mayorkas.

Since his confirmation in February 2021, Mayorkas has grounded ICE agents, reduced ICE’s deportation numbers, and sharply expanded the inflow of migrant workers, consumers, and renters into U.S. communities. The confirmation — or rejection — of Gonzalez is not expected to change Mayorkas’s pro-migration policies.

Mayorkas’ confirmation was backed by several pro-establishment GOP senators, including Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV),  Susan Collins (R-ME), and retiring Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).

Lankford is facing a GOP primary this year prior to the November ballot. His primary opponent is a populist pastor, Jackson Lahmeyer.

Neil Munro