The White House announced Monday that President Trump intends to nominate Ronald D. Vitiello to head the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, potentially averting a confirmation showdown by choosing an experienced law enforcement official for the role.
Vitiello, a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, was named acting director of ICE last month. Trump’s previous pick for the job, Thomas Homan, stepped down after his nomination process stalled and Republican leaders did not bring his confirmation up for a vote in the Senate.
Homan, an unabashed defender of the president’s immigration policies, was a lightning rod for criticism, and Vitiello could still see considerable opposition from Democrats infuriated by the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which separated migrant families at the border.
ICE is the agency that detains and deports foreigners and immigrants. Its Homeland Security Investigations division targets drug traffickers, gang members and other international criminals.
According to its most recent statistics, ICE has 20,000 employees in 46 countries and a budget of nearly $6 billion.