The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) on Wednesday threw its support behind Thomas Perez, who is expected to be nominated by President Obama as the next Secretary of Labor to replace outgoing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
Perez, a Harvard-educated attorney, has yet to be nominated by President Obama to the cabinet post but an announcement is widely expected. Perez's appointment would require Senate confirmation.
"Thomas Perez's admirable civil service career protecting the rights of the American people is praiseworthy," said USHCC President and CEO Javier Palomarez in a statement. "His story as a first-generation American sheds light on the incredible contributions the children of our nation's immigrants offer to our country every day.
"His track record has proven that he is a tireless champion for the American worker and I am certain he will continue his outstanding service to our country as the next secretary of Labor."
Perez has spent his legal career in civil rights advocacy at the local, state and federal levels. He has served as the assistant attorney general at the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice since 2009. Prior to that, Perez was secretary for Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. He also prosecuted civil cases in the Clinton administration.
"I am confident Thomas Perez will be a leading voice not only for our nation's workers, but also for America's immigrant entrepreneurs," said Marc Rodriguez, USHCC chairman of the board. "He is a committed civil and labor rights champion that sees the limitless value immigration reform will bring to our economy -- that is precisely the kind of leader we need at the Department of Labor."
The USHCC represents the economic interests of more than 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. It also serves as the umbrella organization for 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations.
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