President Donald Trump’s new nominee to run the Department of Labor is an accomplished lawyer and a rising star in the GOP’s Hispanic and pro-diversity wing.
The nominee, Alexander Acosta, is a Harvard graduate and a former senior justice department official under George W. Bush. From 2005, he served as a federal attorney in Florida, where he successfully prosecuted a series of high-profile cases and is now a university dean.
If confirmed by the Senate to run the Department of Labor, Acosta will play an important role in overseeing and regulating the annual inflow of roughly 1 million contract workers. Those contract workers fill white-collar and blue-collar jobs throughout the economy and they also lower wages for American graduates and unskilled workers.
However, he’s likely to clash with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a populist who is expected to push for reduced use of foreign workers. Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump called for reforms of the contract-worker programs, including the H-1B program, and declared his policy would be to “Buy American, Hire American.”
On Wednesday, Jan 15, Trump’s first nominee for the job was withdrawn after a few GOP Senators said they would not vote for him in the closely divided Senate. The first nominee, restaurant CEO Anthony Puzder, was damaged by his pre-nomination support for cheap-labor immigration.
Acosta has worked in multiple legal jobs
He was appointed by Bush to the five-member National Labor Relations Board from December 2002 to August 2003. Next, he served as assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division until June 2005, and then became U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida until 2009. He then moved to become dean of Florida International University’s College of Law.
Acosta supports amnesty for illegals and a continued inflow of foreign workers
In January 2012, at an event organized by former Gov. Jeb Bush’s Hispanic Leadership Network, Acosta urged politicians to create “a pathway to legal immigration” despite strong public opposition. He said:
They [the illegal aliens] go nowhere. As the Secretary said, they’re not meant to go anywhere. We need a solution. Several individuals here on the panel were involved in finding a solution several years ago under President [George W.] Bush, and we need someone who’s going to say, we have to enact immigration solutions. Part of that means figuring out what we do with all the individuals that are already in our nation. We need them here. They provide construction jobs. They provide agricultural jobs. We need to figure out a way to address that. We need to figure out a way to then have the pathway to further future legal immigration. If we do not take it all at once, we’re not going to solve it. You cannot solve part of it without solving the other part. You cannot address immigration without answering, what do you do with the individuals that are already in the United States? So let’s just get it done, and let’s get it done quickly.
View the video here.