WASHINGTON (AP) — Some Republicans in Congress are gearing up to oppose the nomination of Thomas Perez to be labor secretary.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama says the choice of Perez is "unfortunate and needlessly divisive." He says Perez has "aggressively sought ways to allow the hiring of more illegal workers."
Perez has been in charge of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, where he has played a leading role in the decision to challenge voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina that could restrict minority voting rights.
Perez is the son of Dominican immigrants, and once worked as a garbage collector. President Barack Obama calls him a "consensus builder" whose "story reminds us of this country's promise."
His nomination has broad support from labor and from the Latino community.
Today's announcement may have been delayed by last week's release of a Justice Department report. It found that Perez gave incomplete testimony to a civil rights panel when he said the Justice Department's political leadership wasn't involved in the decision to dismiss some defendants from a lawsuit filed by the Bush administration against the New Black Panther Party.
173-a-11-(President Obama, announcing the nomination of Thomas Perez to be labor secretary)-"this country's promise"-President Obama says labor secretary nominee Thomas Perez worked his way up. (18 Mar 2013)
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174-a-13-(Thomas Perez, in remarks after President Obama nominated him to be labor secretary)-"all working families"-Labor Secretary-designate Tomas Perez says he'll work hard so working Americans can improve their lives. (18 Mar 2013)
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GRAPHICSBANK: THOMAS PEREZ headshot, as nominee for US Secretary of Labor, over seal, finished graphic (18 Mar 2013)
APPHOTO DCJM107: Thomas E. Perez, President Barack Obama's nominee for Labor Secretary, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday March 18, 2013, where the president made the announcment. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (1 Jan 2000)
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APPHOTO DCJM111: President Barack Obama shakes hands with his nominee for Labor Secretary, Thomas E. Perez, while announcing his nomination, Monday, March 18, 2013, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (1 Jan 2000)
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