On Dec. 3, Sarah Saldaña, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the next ICE Director, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a narrow 10-8 vote, with all Republicans in opposition. The new hostility from the GOP may portend an uphill battle for the nominee moving toward a final vote on her confirmation.

Saldaña previously received unanimous approval by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee prior to the president’s announcement on executive action for immigration. Her new detractors in the Senate pointed to Saldaña’s backing of the president’s executive actions as the main reason for withdrawing support. Among those Senators voicing new opposition for the nominee was Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). Saldaña is the current U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Senator Cornyn had introduced her at the prior confirmation hearing, which generally indicates support for appointment.

Saldaña could be confirmed while Democrats control the Senate, but with nearly 130 other nominations to fit onto the docket, it is unclear whether her nomination will be considered before the end of the year. If the vote occurs after Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate, her appointment appears less likely.

BAL is closely monitoring all reactions surrounding immigration executive action and will provide additional updates as new information becomes available. You can also follow more frequent updates on our BAL Government Affairs twitter page.

For additional information or questions, please contact:

Lynden Melmed
Partner, Washington D.C.

Christiana Kern
Legislative Analyst

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