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WashPost: Prominent Justice Department Official Tapped to Become Next Secretary of Labor

March 10, 2013

The Washington Post and other news outlets are reporting that President Obama will name a prominent Justice Department official to succeed Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. Thomas E. Perez currently serves as the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice.

Perez has strong labor support and served as Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s (D) labor secretary from 2007 until 2009, when he was tapped for the Justice Department position. Perez, a longtime Takoma Park resident, also served on the Montgomery County Council and was the first Latino elected to the council. He has been the key official under Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. handling civil rights cases, the centerpiece of what Holder hopes will be his legacy.

The Department of Labor administers several key areas of immigration law and regulations.

The Employment and Training Administration within the Department of Labor administers the regulations which apply to foreign nationals who are entering the U.S. to work on a temporary or permanent basis.

The Wage and Hour Division is charged with ensuring employer compliance with laws and regulations relating to the employment of foreign nationals. This division has the authority to levy fines against employers or debar them from participating in certain programs if they have violated regulations.


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