Puzder himself has been a reliable font of clichés in favor of higher levels of legal immigration. He has suggested that “the fact is that there are jobs in this country that U.S. citizens, for whatever reason, are reluctant or unwilling to perform”—a cliché that ignores the possibility of raising wages to attract citizens—and as recently as 2015 encouraged reviving the Gang of Eight approach to immigration. His views on immigration aren’t merely academic for this post. The Department of Labor bears a significant amount of responsibility for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
Puzder is not without his virtues, of course. He is a staunch opponent of knee-jerk demands to raise the federal minimum wage to $15, which he has rightly identified as a surefire way to send minimum-wage workers to the local unemployment office. He’s also unsympathetic to the bullying of organized labor, and it’s to his credit that the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and United Steelworkers have lined up to oppose him.
But we were skeptical about this nomination from the start, and it has been taking on water of late. The unflattering revelations have included that Puzder employed an undocumented housekeeper for several years and failed to pay related taxes. His hearings have been repeatedly delayed as the White House tries to rally support, and recent reports suggest that a handful of Republican senators are still unconvinced.