The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday abruptly postponed scheduled votes on President Biden’s picks to lead ICE and the Census Bureau.
No immediate explanation was given, and it’s not clear whether either nomination is in trouble.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of Harris County, Texas, who is the pick to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has come under fire in recent days from the labor union that represents ICE’s deportation officers.
The union said Sheriff Harris questioned their credibility during his confirmation hearing, and they also raised concerns over his ties to advocates for a controversial visa program that allows wealthy investors to buy residency in the U.S. That program is heavily used by Chinese investors.
The ICE union’s concerns were reported by The Washington Times on Tuesday.
Democrats are eager to get Sheriff Gonzalez on the job. ICE has been without a confirmed director since the end of the Obama administration. None of President Trump’s picks made it to the floor for a vote.
But Sheriff Gonzalez’s answers at his confirmation hearing earlier this month didn’t sit well with some immigration activists. He said he wouldn’t end federal-local cooperation agreements that allow local police to screen their prisons and jails for deportable migrants.
Rob Santos, vice president at the Urban Institute, is the pick to lead the Census Bureau. He would be the first Latino to head the agency responsible for counting and cataloging Americans’ identities.