ACLU Statement on Senate Confirmation Hearing of Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Nominee For Director Of U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement

July 14, 2021 12:15 pm

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WASHINGTON — Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of Texas will go before the U.S. Senate on July 15 for a hearing to determine whether he’ll be confirmed as director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ACLU Senior Policy Counsel Naureen Shah said:

“Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has the opportunity to fundamentally reshape U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency that the Trump administration wielded as a political weapon and used to traumatize families and communities across the country.

“The Biden administration has a mandate to transform ICE, and that requires the new ICE director to make bold moves. If confirmed, we will urge Gonzalez to end collaboration agreements between ICE and sheriffs across the country that have led to racial profiling and damaged communities, just as he did as sheriff of Harris County. Immigrants and their families should not have to fear that seeking police protection or assisting in investigations of serious crimes will lead to deportation of themselves or a loved one. Gonzalez should finally and completely end ICE’s entanglement with state and local police. We will also urge Gonzalez to close ICE detention sites across the country, prevent the re-detention of people previously released due to their vulnerability to COVID-19, and stop transferring detained people to detention sites far from their loved ones and legal counsel. We must work towards a system that ensures people are with their families and communities while going through the immigration process, and have access to legal representation. New leadership must thoroughly reorient the agency to prioritize the dignity of immigrants and ensure accountability for human rights violations committed by ICE personnel.”

This statement is online here:

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