During the Trump administration, Gonzalez was critical of ICE.
In July 2019, while the U.S. was seeing a significant surge in the number of illegal aliens entering the country, Gonzalez condemned the department.
“I do not support ICE raids that threaten to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, the vast majority of whom do not represent a threat to the U.S.,” wrote Gonzalez in a social media post.
“The focus should always be on clear & immediate safety threats. Not others who are not threats. Diverting valuable law enforcement resources away from public safety threats would drive undocumented families further into the shadows & damage our community safety. It silences witnesses & victims & world [sic] further worsen the challenges law enforcement officials face,” wrote Gonzalez.
Before his current position, Gonzalez was an officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD) and then was elected to be a Houston City Council member.
Upon leaving HPD, Gonzalez reportedly cleaned off his desk that included the murder case files for an ongoing investigation.
The missing files had never been placed into the HPD system and Gonzalez did not return the documents until years later when department investigators who were trying to locate them contacted him.
“I feel badly about it,” said Gonzalez when the issue came up years later. “Clearly all of this should have been done in a more effective manner. I don’t minimize that at all.”
Gonzalez was first elected to be the Harris County Sheriff as a Democrat in the 2016 election.
He received about 73,000 more votes than his Republican opponent, Ron Hickman, winning the election with 53 percent of the vote.
Gonzalez’s nomination to be the new head of ICE will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which is split evenly between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, but with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.