Biden taps Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez as new director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Ed 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. (Courtesy Sheriff Ed Gonzalez)
Ed 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. (Courtesy Sheriff Ed Gonzalez)

Ed 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. (Courtesy Sheriff Ed Gonzalez)

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include information and quotes from Precinct 2 Commissioner and former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.

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.

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."
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.