Labor Secretary nominee Puzder changes tune on immigration reform
- Andrew Puzder, fast-food mogul and President-elect Donald Trump’s labor secretary pick, said he backs Trump’s plan for immigration controls to protect American jobs, reports RealClear Politics. In a statement released to the public, Puzder said that if confirmed as labor secretary, his moral and constitutional duty will be "to serve U.S. workers."
- Notably, Politico called this a "retooling" of his original immigration stance. In an op-ed published earlier this year, Puzder claimed that deporting 11 million people would be "unworkable."
- Puzder said that immigration controls will increase wages and ensure that vacant jobs are offered first to American workers. He said that spending trillions of dollars on jobless benefits and welfare for out of work Americans while hiring foreign workers to fill jobs "makes no sense. "
If confirmed, employers will want to watch how Puzder will treat wages. Puzder has been quoted as opposing a minimum wage increase for his own workers, whose fast food jobs place them among the lowest paid of all U.S. workers.
Puzder might have a harder time convincing immigrants that he and Trump are concerned about joblessness in their communities when both men support immigration controls. Puzder didn’t say how immigration controls would work, but without clarification, any form of control could range from revoking H-1B visas for foreign nationals to physical detainment.
Democrats, long-time allies of organized labor, fiercely oppose Puzder’s nomination, referring to his pro-business stands as detrimental to American workers. Republicans and business leaders are lauding him as a company chief who they expect will roll back labor’s gains under the Obama administration.