Senate

Democrats cancel vote on Biden pick to lead ICE after domestic abuse allegations 

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Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Tuesday withdrew a motion to vote on Sheriff Ed Gonzelez, President Biden’s nominee to serve as director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), after the nominee’s wife accused him of domestic abuse.  

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. 

“Because of the severity of these allegations, the vote on this nomination should be postponed until it can be determined whether or not these allegations are true,” Lankford wrote.  

“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,” he wrote.  

Gonzelez’s wife told a police officer that the nominee became “physical or violent’ with her after he discovered she had a romantic relationship with her supervisor at Houston Community College, where she worked as vice chancellor, according to an affidavit filed by the officer.  

The affidavit, filed by Houston Community College police officer Frederick Portis, referenced Mrs. Gonzalez’s “romantic relationship” with the college’s chancellor, Cesar Maldonado.  

Lankford told Democratic colleagues the “cloture motion should be immediately withdrawn until this matter is resolved.”   

Biden renominated Gonzalez to lead ICE in January after the Senate failed to move on his nomination last year. The president first nominated him in April of last year.  

Tags Chuck Schumer Gary Peters ICE Immigration James Lankford Joe Biden Senate confirmations

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