Pres.-elect Donald Trump's nomination of Andy Puzder for Labor Secretary alarmed immigration-reduction activists with his past support for the Gang of 8 amnesty bill that would have tripled the number of lifetime work permits issued over 10 years. But Puzder released a statement over the weekend declaring his commitment to Trump's campaign pledge to protect American workers and their wages from foreign worker competition.

Puzder serves as the CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns both Carl's, Jr. and Hardee's. As CEO, he was a vocal supporter of immigration expansion and amnesty, writing several op-eds in support of the Gang of 8 legislation and working with the Partnership for a New American Economy, which pushes for an expansion of current immigration levels.

But on Saturday, Puzder issued the following statement:

My job as a business person is to maximize profits for my company, employees and shareholders. My job as the Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve U.S. citizen workers – that is my moral and constitutional duty. The public spoke loud and clear in this election, and delivered a mandate to protect American workers. It makes no economic sense to spend trillions on welfare and jobless benefits for out of work Americans while bringing in foreign workers to fill jobs in their place.

As Secretary of Labor, I will fiercely defend American workers and implement my piece of the ten point plan the President-elect laid out. President-elect Trump’s plan to establish new immigration controls will boost wages and ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first. Hire American and Buy American is our policy, and the one supported by voters in both parties. I will not provide guest worker visas to companies that break the rules, and will support reforms to raise wages for Americans — I know the system from the inside, and will be the best champion American workers have had. With 94 million Americans outside the labor force, and massive unemployment in our inner cities and among minority workers, my job will be to help these workers find jobs. We also have large unemployment in our immigrant communities, and these communities benefit the most from clamping down on guest worker programs that compete against them.

In his historic August immigration speech in Arizona, then-candidate Trump advanced 10 changes to the immigration system to increase enforcement and protect American workers. One point, which is still listed on his campaign website, includes "Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers, keeping immigration levels within historic norms."

For more information, see

Legal Immigration
American workers

Updated: Fri, Dec 30th 2016 @ 8:45am EST