Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez withdraws ICE director consideration

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has withdrawn from being considered for Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The sheriff made the announcement Monday afternoon on Twitter, saying he "arrived at this decision after prayerfully considering what's best for our nation, my family, and the people of Harris County." 

Gonzalez said he informed Pres. Biden's administration of his decision on Sunday.

Pres. Biden first nominated Gonzalez to serve as director of ICE, which has been without a Senate-confirmed leader since 2017, in April 2021.

ORIGINAL NOMINATION: President Biden to nominate Harris Co. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez for ICE director 

Three months later, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing to examine Gonzalez's nomination.

But, the Senate failed to confirm the nomination before the end of the year, so he was nominated again in January.

SECOND NOMINATION: Sheriff Ed Gonzalez receives ICE director nomination from White House again

Then in March, the committee overseeing his nomination delayed a vote after allegations of years-old domestic abuse were raised by a Republican senator.

The unsubstantiated claims surfaced in an affidavit that was filed in an unrelated case last summer. Both Gonzalez and his wife have continuously denied the incident ever happened and reportedly reconciled. No charges were ever filed.

MORE: Nomination vote for Harris County Sheriff to lead ICE on hold following domestic abuse allegations

"I am grateful to President Biden for the honor of nominating me, and I wish this administration well as it strives to overcome the paralyzing political gridlock that threatens far more than our nation's border," Gonzalez wrote.

Sheriff Gonzalez leads the largest sheriff’s office in Texas and the third-largest in the U.S. He was elected sheriff in 2016 and was elected for a second term in 2020.

"My love for America and my desire to serve during these contentious times is stronger than ever," Gonzalez added. "Ensuring the safety and security of the people of Harris County is a great honor, and I am fully devoted to continuing to fulfill this responsibility."