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FIU Law School Dean, Alexander Acosta, Trump's Secretary of Labor Pick

February 16, 2017 - 2:30pm
Alexander Costa
Alexander Costa

Alexander Acosta, dean of Florida International University College of Law and chairman of U.S. Century Bank, is President Donald Trump's new nominee for Secretary of Labor, Fox News and CNBC are now reporting.

Acosta, 48, jumped to the president's No. 1 pick after fast food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration.

Before he was dean at FIU, Acosta served as the first Hispanic assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department under the George W. Bush administration and he was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He has real experience in immigration law -- perhaps a huge bonus for the administration.

If confirmed, Acosta will be the first Hispanic member of the Trump cabinet. And even though candidate Trump actually did better among Hispanic voters than most pundits expected, appointing Acosta could improve President Trump's ties to Latino voters.

U.S. Century Bank, incidentally, is one of the largest Hispanic-American-owned community banks in the U.S.

Acosta served as a member of the National Labor Relations Board.

The Miami native graduated from Harvard College with a degree in economics, as well as from Harvard Law School. He practiced law at the firm of Kirkland & Ellis before teaching at the George Mason School of Law.

Acosta also serves on the Florida Innocence Commission, Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism, Florida Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission and the American Bar Association’s Commission for Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities.

Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, is known for the controversial statements he makes and was considered an out-of-the-box choice for a cabinet position. While Acosta may agree with a lot of Puzder's ideas, insiders say he is a clear product of the Washington system with many more years in government service than in the private sector. That could help assure some worried observers from both parties "that Trump is not intent on assembling some kind of rogue cabinet," said CNBC

Added the network, "Acosta may be Democrats' worst nightmare. He's a nominee they simply have to respect and cannot begin to hope to block. It would simply be suicide for a party that's banking more and more on racial identity politics to be aggressive or even appear to be aggressively opposing someone like Acosta."

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


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Amen to this choice, but I'm certain Schumky Shumer will have nasty things to say.

If this is President Trumps boy then let's get him confirmed.

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