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US Senate Panel Delays Vote on Nominee to Lead Immigration Agency


Acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) Ronald Vitiello listens as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at ICE headquarters in Washington, July 6, 2018.

The U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee postponed a vote on Wednesday on whether to approve Ronald Vitiello, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Committee Chairman Ron Johnson did not elaborate on the reasons for the delay, but the postponement came one day after ICE's employee union urged lawmakers to block the nomination amid concerns about past racially tinged and controversial comments Vitiello made on Twitter.

"We are going to hold over the ICE director nomination," Johnson said. "There are some issues that continue on that, so we will not be voting on the ICE director."

This is the second time the Senate panel has delayed voting on Vitiello's nomination.

The committee postponed a vote last November after the union, the National ICE Council, first raised concerns about Vitiello's fitness for leading the agency.

On Tuesday, union President Chris Crane sent a letter formally asking the panel to oppose Vitiello, saying his prior offensive tweets showed he "lacks the judgment and professionalism to effectively lead a federal agency."

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