Andrew Puzder Should Withdraw

By Dan Cadman, February 10, 2017

Whatever one may think of our new president, it seems clear that by his lights he is trying to keep faith with the American people by making good on his campaign promise of putting their safety and prosperity first on his agenda.

Jobs and trade, controlled immigration, national security — these are the subjects that carried him to the White House. We can see how those subjects translated into his cabinet picks, with one notable and puzzling exception: Andrew Puzder, his nominee to become secretary of Labor.

Puzder's history as the head of CKE Restaurants, the holding company that owns such fast-food chains as Hardee's and Carl's Jr., is replete with ostentatious endorsement of broad-based amnesty for illegal aliens; statements that rigorous border enforcement would be "troubling"; unrelenting support for visa programs giving employers near-unlimited access to high volumes of cheap foreign labor; and even constant and public repetition of the offensive old saw that there are jobs that Americans can't or won't do. (Tell that to the men who pick up my trash and recyclables weekly, and do a host of other "undesirable" jobs honorably and honestly to keep their families fed.)

The announcement of the nomination was met with a moment of stunned silence followed by a chorus of questions about the suitability of the choice from a variety of organizations dedicated to controlled immigration and enforcement of the law, including ours. CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian penned a piece for National Review Online titled "Trump's Labor Department Pick: Put Americans Last" that pretty much summed up all that was odd and wrong about the pick.

The voices of consternation were apparently loud enough that Puzder quickly issued an almost-but-not-quite contrite statement to the effect that his role as chief executive of CKE was fundamentally different than the role of secretary of Labor, in which he would work to support and "fiercely defend" the creation and maintenance of jobs for American workers.

Of course, cabinet nomination conversions are to be looked upon with healthy skepticism; they're not unlike jailhouse conversions just before the parole hearing.

It now turns out that Puzder practiced in his private life the same open-borders philosophy he espoused at CKE. He has admitted to hiring an illegal alien to do housekeeping chores. He hastens to add that he has now paid all appropriate back taxes, etc., as if this settles the matter. It doesn't.

Puzder is a wealthy and educated man. He knew he was breaking the law. And he gave to someone, clearly via an under-the-table salary arrangement, a job that many authorized workers, citizens and resident aliens alike, would have been delighted to hold.

His contempt for the law and, more obviously, his contempt for American workers make him unfit to be our secretary of Labor. He should, in decency, withdraw his name from further consideration.