By Kristina Peterson
Vote Is Divided Along Party Lines, With GOP Pointing to Obama’s Executive Action on Immigrants
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Sarah Saldaña to be a top immigration official in the Homeland Security Department.
Ms. Saldaña, currently the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, was confirmed in a 55-39 vote, largely along party lines. Republicans said their opposition reflected their frustration over President Barack Obama ’s plans to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, rather than specific criticism of Ms. Saldaña.
“We would be hard pressed to find a person better suited for the job at Immigration and Customs Enforcement than Sarah Saldaña,” Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) said on the Senate floor Tuesday, noting he had been “proud to introduce” Ms. Saldaña at a hearing earlier this year. “Unfortunately, the president changed everything this last November by his executive…actions on immigration,” said Mr. Cornyn, who voted “no” on Ms. Saldaña’s confirmation.
Mr. Obama said in a written statement that Ms. Saldaña was the right person for “securing our borders, keeping American communities safe and upholding our values.”
Ms. Saldaña, who will serve as the director or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was supported by 52 Democrats, one Independent and two Republicans. Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Opposition came entirely from the GOP.