President Donald Trump announced his plan to name Alexander Acosta as labor secretary. If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic member to join Trump’s Cabinet.
The announcement on Thursday comes just one day after Trump’s first pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his nomination.
The nomination could go a long way towards repairing Trump’s public image as he continues to lose popularity with minorities. CNN reported that President Trump said Acosta will be “a tremendous secretary of labor.”
“I have wished him the best,” said Trump.
Acosta is the son of Cuban immigrants.
The announcement coincided with the Day Without Immigrants protest. The nationwide protest, which began on social media, is in response to Donald Trump’s promises to tighten immigration and deport undocumented immigrants.
Businesses all over the country closed down for the day or provided limited services in support of the protest. Many minority groups commented on the event, according to ABC News.
“What would happen if all of us were disappeared the way Trump wants us to?” asked Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos, a Philadelphia-based Latino immigrant advocacy organization.
The event gained significant media attention, with many people speaking out against Trump’s policies. Supporters of the protest sent a reminder that America is a nation of immigrants.
— Busboys and Poets (@busboysandpoets) February 15, 2017
— Women's March (@womensmarch) February 10, 2017
— WFAE (@WFAE) February 17, 2017
On Monday, a similar protest took place in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that protesters marched to the Milwaukee County Courthouse as part of the Day Without Latinos, Immigrants and Refugees protest.
The event was organized by advocacy organizations, including the immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera. Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of the group, spoke of the protest’s goals.
“Immigrant and refugee communities, and those that stand with them, are not going to be pushed into the shadows. We’re not going to let our constitutional rights to be stripped away from all of us, nor allow discriminatory laws to be legalized. We’re making a strong statement that immigrants and refugees contribute significantly to the well-being of our economy, and that we should be helping them, thanking them and making life easier for them, instead of trying to implement these kinds of policies.”
The event attracted thousands of people who gathered in support of both documented and undocumented immigrants.
— Kent Wainscott (@Kentwainscott) February 13, 2017
— Joseph Brusky (@JosephBrusky) February 14, 2017
— Shaun Griswold (@shaun505) February 13, 2017
Trump’s immigration policies have come under fire, with the most recent controversy centering on his immigration ban which put a temporary halt on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Trump was adamant that the ban had “nothing to do with religion,” although this contradicts his campaign promises. On the campaign trail, Trump claimed “that a significant portion of the Muslim population in the United States professed hatred towards Americans.” He called “for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Trump’s naming of a Hispanic cabinet member comes at a tense time. Many minorities are critical of his immigration policies which are focused on restriction rather than on reform.
Alexander Acosta is the dean of the Florida International University School of Law. He was formerly a member of the National Labor Relations Board, to which he was nominated by George W. Bush.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]