President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez as the new director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a news release April 27.
According to the release, Gonzalez was first elected Harris County sheriff in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020 after earning the highest vote total of any candidate on the countywide ballot.
Prior to serving as Harris County sheriff, Gonzales began his law enforcement career as a civilian employee with the Houston Police Department before becoming a police officer and rising to the rank of sergeant. During his tenure, Gonzalez also served on the hostage negotiation team and in the homicide division as an investigator.
Following his 18-year career with the HPD, Gonzalez retired in 2009 to serve three terms on Houston City Council representing District H, during which he also served as vice mayor pro tem and mayor pro tem.
Gonzalez holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Downtown and a master's degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo took to Twitter shortly after the announcement to congratulate Gonzalez on the nomination.
Congrats to my friend Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on being nominated to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Biden Administration. I'll be sad for him to leave us, but President Biden will gain a compassionate, thoughtful and courageous leader. @SheriffEd_HCSO
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) April 27, 2021
Likewise, Adrian Garcia, Precinct 2 Commissioner and former Harris County Sheriff, held a press conference regarding Gonzalez's nomination following Harris County Commissioners Court April 27.
"[ICE] has needed a leader in a leadership role that can bring unity and vision and a new direction and in my humble opinion, I believe Sheriff Gonzalez fits the bill to do just that," Garcia said. "Bringing that organization somewhat into a community-oriented policing role is well within Sheriff Gonzalez's capacity and capability."
Following the nomination by Biden, Gonzalez's appointment will need to be confirmed by the Senate. If Gonzalez is confirmed, Garcia said the Harris County Commissioners Court would be tasked with nominating and confirming his replacement. The appointee would serve as Harris County sheriff following Gonzalez's resignation until November 2022 when the current term ends and the position will be up for election.
"There will be no doubt—assuming that he is confirmed—that his replacement will definitely inherit a well-run, well-respected professional law enforcement organization," Garcia said. "Whoever that person may be will have big shoes to fill."