WASHINGTON – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday reported out the nomination of Julie Myers to continue as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, overseeing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau. Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn. and Ranking Member Susan Collins R-Me., both voted to send the nomination to the full Senate. The final committee vote tally was 8-1.
“I have been impressed by Ms. Myers’ knowledge of the complicated issues facing ICE. She provided thoughtful answers to our Committee’s policy questions on a range of topics,” said Lieberman. “She is described by co-workers and others as a talented executive with a strong work ethic and good management abilities. I look forward to continuing work with her to tackle ICE’s many difficult problems.”
“Ms. Myers has compiled a record demonstrating her managerial skill. In particular, I would note the strong support that was shown for Ms. Myers during extensive pre-hearing interviews by Committee staff. Key personnel at ICE and the DHS Inspector General’s Office praised her efforts at ICE, highlighting her work ethic and her managerial skills,” said Collins. “Her peers at the Department also support her. She continues to enjoy the support of law enforcement groups such as the Baltimore County Police and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. She has shown that she appreciates the importance of meeting the many challenges faced by ICE.”
Myers has served as acting Assistant Secretary of DHS for the past year and a half under a recess appointment. Although the Committee reported her nomination out in 2005, the full Senate never voted on it. Committee staff conducted over 20 interviews with Myers’ associates in government and among advocacy groups who described her as an effective manager. Nevertheless, ICE remains an agency with many problems. The integration of employees, missions, and cultures of two core programs from two different departments remains incomplete. Employee morale is very low. ICE’s treatment of undocumented immigrants in detention continues to raise questions about whether detainees are being treated humanely and with appropriate care.