Carper Statement on HSGAC Business Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement regarding the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) business meeting to consider the nominations of Ronald Vitiello to serve as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Joseph Cuffari to serve as Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Too often over the last two years, the Trump Administration has opted to nominate individuals who espouse the most extreme views to some of the highest offices in our government. I believe that, in many instances, this administration has prioritized politics over an individual’s qualifications for the job. Having served as a governor for eight years and nominated many individuals to important posts, I disagree with that approach. I believe we need to ensure that the people holding these consequential jobs have the right skills, experience and temperament. Mr. Vitiello has spent his career working for the U.S. Border Patrol and, during that time, has earned the admiration of his peers and superiors, regardless of party. As a result, he was selected to serve as Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol during the Obama Administration. Mr. Vitiello has also taken stances during his time at DHS that have drawn the ire of those who endorse the most hardline immigration policies of the Trump Administration.

“I continue to disagree with many of the Trump Administration’s discriminatory immigration policies, and my vote to approve Mr. Vitiello’s nomination does not change that. However, after taking the time to meet and speak with Mr. Vitiello at length and look closely at his background, I believe that Mr. Vitiello’s confirmation could be a step toward regaining much needed transparency and accountability at ICE. My fear is that, if Mr. Vitiello is not confirmed, the next person nominated to fill this role could be a good deal worse. As a senior member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I fully intend to continue conducting thorough oversight of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and holding Administration officials accountable.”