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Senator Hassan Questions ICE Nominee on Preventing Drug Trafficking and Protecting New Hampshire’s Indonesian Community

Senator Also Questions Director of the U.S. Census Bureau About Streamlining Efficiency in the 2030 Census

WASHINGTON – At a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan questioned two key nominees — the Assistant Secretary at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau — on their preparedness to handle drug trafficking, protect New Hampshire’s Indonesian immigrant community, and the 2030 census.


To watch Senator Hassan’s questioning, click here.


Senator Hassan began by pressing Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, nominee for Assistant Secretary for ICE, on how he will help ensure that the agency effectively tackles various threats, including transnational drug crimes that help fuel the devastating substance use disorder crisis.  


Sheriff Gonzalez responded that the Homeland Security Investigations unit is critically important to addressing these threats, including dismantling migration networks that cartels use to move drugs like fentanyl over the border.


Senator Hassan went on to highlight the importance of the Indonesian immigrant community in New Hampshire, and expressed support for protecting New Hampshire’s Indonesian immigrant community.


“Many of them do not have green cards – some because they were given bad legal advice years ago,” said Senator Hassan. “They are important members of our community at this point; people who have worked jobs, paid taxes, raised their families in New Hampshire.”


Sheriff Gonzalez agreed to work with the Senator on this issue, saying that it is important to have a prioritized response and have updated guidance on immigration issues.  


The Senator also questioned Robert Santos, nominee to be Director of the U.S. Census Bureau, on her concern that the 2030 census operation is at risk of mismanagement and waste of taxpayer dollars.


“Despite the conclusion of the 2020 census just months ago, GAO [Government Accountability Office] already anticipates that the next decennial census will face management challenges such as meeting goals and deadlines for testing new data collection technology, recruiting and dispatching thousands of census workers, and evaluating the accuracy of the collected data in a timely way,” said Senator Hassan.


Santos explained that since the 2020 census was the first fully digitized census, he would use this new data in order to reveal insights that could lead to more effective operations.