President Donald Trump’s pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement remains in limbo after the union representing ICE officers opposed the nomination.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday postponed a scheduled vote on Ron Vitiello’s nomination.
“Never before have we seen so many warning signs with respect to a nominee prior to confirmation and we believe him to be unfit to serve as Director,” wrote National ICE Council President Chris Crane.
Crane outlines a series of concerns, including accusations that Vitiello prevented employees from performing their official duties. The union also said that the ICE acting director’s social media content was “unacceptable” and “shows a lack of sound judgment.”
Last August, the President formally nominated Vitiello, the acting director of ICE, to hold the position permanently.
But he has run into trouble amid social media controversy and criticism from the union representing ICE officers.
“We are going to hold over the ICE director nomination there are some issues that continue on that so we will not be voting on the ICE director,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, during a committee meeting Wednesday.
Vitiello has been leading ICE in an acting capacity since the end of June. He previously was chief of the US Border Patrol and acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.
“I’m not going to say anything, other than we are holding it over and we will continue to sort through the issues,” said Johnson after the meeting Wednesday.
Vitiello faced criticism at his hearing in November for refusing to rule out potential future family separations, and was questioned about his personal tweets and an immigration event he had attended.
Michigan Democrat Gary Peters asked in the hearing about a 2012 tweet, in which Vitiello “suggested that the Democratic Party should be renamed the ‘liberalcratic party’ or the “Neo-Klanist party.’”
Vitiello acknowledged “it was a mistake” and said “he was trying to make a joke,” adding that he thought it was a direct message.