Alexander Acosta, Trump's Labor Nominee, Spoke Out Against Discrimination in 2011
Feb 17, 2017 03:43 PM EST
President Trump's labor secretary nominee, Alexandar Acosta spoke out against anti-Muslim discrimination in testimony to Congress six years ago. He praised former President George W. Bush's administration efforts in protecting American Muslims, during a speech to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Acosta have mentioned that informal meetings between Muslim American and Arab American community leaders and government agencies worked well and that these efforts, especially following the 9/11 incident were important. "They reminded those who might be tempted to take out their anger on an entire community that such actions were wrong," he said.
Trump nominated Acosta on Thursday to lead the Labor Department. Andrew Puzder, Trump's original choice, withdrew his candidacy on Wednesday after receiving opposition from several Republicans who refused to support him.
Acosta, unlike Puzder, has spent much of his career in public service. He served on the National Labor Relations Board between 2002 to 2003 under Bush, and was the first Hispanic assistant attorney general at the Justice Department.
Acosta led the Justice Department's civil rights division for two years before leaving the government in 2011. He was also the dean of the Florida International University law school during the time he testified at a Senate hearing on protecting the civil rights of Muslims, and remains to be the dean up till now, according to CNN.
In 2004, Acosta's department also helped to settle a lawsuit over racial discrimination, against Cracker Barrel. Federal officials accused the restaurant chain of allowing white servers to refuse to wait on black customers and segregating customers by race. The Department of Justice reported that Cracker Barrel later agreed to allow changes to policies and practices to prevent discrimination.
In contrary to his anti-discrimination initiatives in the past, Acosta would now have to serve a president who once suspended all Muslim immigration, and imposed travel ban on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. Although the decision has been overturned by the federal courts, it can be said that Acosta is only at the beginning of his new thrilling journey as the labor secretary of Trump's administration.