Administration

Report: Trump Labor pick hired undocumented worker

Andy Puzder, President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Labor, admitted Monday that he had employed an undocumented immigrant, according to multiple reports.

“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” he said in a Monday statement first reported by the Huffington Post.

{mosads}“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status. We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California and submitted all required paperwork.”

A source told the Huffington Post that the woman declined the offer to assist her with documentation because she was afraid she would be detained or deported.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. 

His confirmation hearing, last scheduled for Feb. 7, was delayed last week for the fourth time.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee said it is still waiting for his paperwork from the Office of Government Ethics.

HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Monday that because Puzder “voluntarily corrected” his mistake, the revelation is not disqualifying.

“Based upon what I’ve learned, since Mr. Puzder reported his mistake and voluntarily corrected it, I do not believe that this should disqualify him from being a Cabinet secretary,” he said in a statement, as reported by CNN.

But in the past, such admissions have sunk nominees.

Zoe Baird, former President Bill Clinton’s first nominee for attorney general, withdrew from consideration after it was reported she had hired an undocumented nanny. His second nominee for the position, Kimba Wood, also withdrew from consideration after reports she employed an undocumented immigrant as a babysitter.

President George W. Bush’s Labor pick, Linda Chavez, also withdrew from consideration after admitting she allowed a Guatemalan woman in the United States illegally to live with her and gave her spending money.

Last week, a government watchdog group asked a federal court to unseal Puzder’s divorce records, charging that information about his background and prior acts are of high interest to the Senate committee that will be considering the nomination.

The group charged that court filings and recent reports indicate the records include allegations of domestic violence.

Last month, Trump’s pick for Commerce secretary admitted to unknowingly employing a possible undocumented worker in his Florida home. But that did not stop the Senate Commerce Committee from voting favorably on Wilbur Ross’s nomination, setting him up for a floor vote in the next few weeks. 

Tags Bill Clinton Lamar Alexander

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