Roy Austin, deputy U.S. Attorney General in the Civil Rights division, is likely to be nominated to lead the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, MainJustice reports. The agency has 20,000 personnel and a budget of almost $6 billion. Austin, in his current position since 2010, has overseen high-profile investigations of Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the New Orleans Police Department.
Austin’s nomination could be controversial. Nominating an official “who’s essentially sued Arizona” could suggest a lack of commitment to enforcing immigration laws, said a former Homeland Security Department official in the George W. Bush administration, speaking anonymously. He official added, “This is a tough agency to be at and you want people to know you’re on their side.” Another former official said Auistin’s civil-rights background might give him a “keen awareness of due process and openness.”