President Trump’s pick to head the Labor Department acknowledged Monday having hired an illegal immigrant housekeeper.
However, Andy Puzder said he and his wife did not know the woman was an illegal immigrant when they hired her and promptly corrected the resulting tax-and-hiring errors, details that, according to Republicans on Capitol Hill, mean the nomination is not in jeopardy.
“My wife and I employed a housekeeper for a few years, during which I was unaware that she was not legally permitted to work in the U.S.,” Mr. Puzder said in a Monday statement. “When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status. We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California and submitted all required paperwork.”
Hearings on the Puzder nomination have been delayed several times by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, in part because the fast-food CEO hasn’t filed all requested paperwork with the government’s ethics offices.
Still, Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican and the panel chairman, said the housekeeper revelations should not themselves pose a problem.
“Based upon what I’ve learned, since Mr. Puzder reported his mistake and voluntarily corrected it, I do not believe that this should disqualify him from being a Cabinet secretary,” he told CNN in a statement.
Mr. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns the well-known burger chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.