Earlier this week, Sarah Saldaña, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become the next director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was confirmed by the Senate 55-39. Only two Republicans voted in favor of her confirmation, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Saldaña will be the first Hispanic woman to lead ICE.

Saldaña had faced an uphill battle in the Senate after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee abruptly withdrew their support for her nomination after she backed Obama’s recent executive action on immigration. Her eventual appointment had appeared uncertain with the busy legislative schedule heading into the holidays, but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was able to prioritize a series of confirmation votes immediately before the Congressional session ended.

Though Saldaña is now confirmed, additional battles over immigration policy are likely to take place almost immediately in the new year with the new Republican majority in the Senate. The GOP has ensured that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is funded only through February with the recently passed government funding bill, so further discussions on immigration executive action will be ongoing.

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For additional information or questions, please contact:

Lynden Melmed, Partner
Washington, D.C.
Direct: 202.842.5830

Christiana Kern, Legislative Analyst
Washington, D.C.
Direct : 202.842.5831

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