By Rafael Bernal
September 14, 2016
Hillary Clinton is widely expected to name a record number of Latinos to her Cabinet if she becomes president, and Democrats are counting on the demographic to put them over the top in November’s elections.
There are currently three Latinos in President Obama’s Cabinet: Labor Secretary Tom Perez, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, and Small Business Administrator María Contreras-Sweet.
Here are four prominent Latinos who could find a spot in a Clinton Cabinet.
Tom Perez, Department of Justice
The New York-born civil rights lawyer specializes in several areas related to Clinton’s campaign promises to minorities, like criminal justice reform and voting rights. He has also been an effective campaign surrogate for Clinton, delivering fiery speeches to Latino audiences.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is a ‘when’ question in this country,” Perez told the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in June. “It is not an ‘if’ question in this country. I have no doubt about it.”
Perez, whose resume seems suited for attorney general, was considered a potential running mate for Clinton. And during Obama’s address in July at the Democratic National Convention, Perez was spotted sitting next to former President Bill Clinton.
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), Department of Health and Human Services or Department of Homeland Security
The highest-ranking Latino in the history of the House of Representatives is also a staunch Clinton supporter.
Becerra, who was also seen as being on Clinton’s shortlist for vice president, called her “the quarterback” of Democratic leadership, explaining he would take on any role asked of him by the nominee.
Becerra is currently the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, a role that will end after this Congress due to term limits.
Facing a crowded Democratic leadership — with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) expected to keep their positions — Becerra’s options in the House are limited.
In 2008, he turned down Obama’s offer to become the U.S. trade representative, a Cabinet-level position.
Married to a physician, Becerra has taken on several public health causes, including, most recently, the fight for funding to combat the Zika virus. He also serves on the Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Julián Castro,Department of Education or Department of Housing and Urban Development
The current secretary of Housing and Urban Development was, like Perez and Becerra, considered a potential running mate for Clinton.
He has also put in work as a Clinton surrogate with Latino audiences and helped mentor new Latinos running for Congress.
Widely seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, the twin brother of Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas) was, at 26, the youngest-ever member of San Antonio’s city council.
With no statewide elections in Texas until 2018, Castro could remain in the Cabinet for at least a year before considering a challenge to Gov. Greg Abbott (R) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R), a position his brother will likely also be vying for.
Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security
Mayorkas is the current deputy secretary of Homeland Security and head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Cuban-born lawyer would be a hard sell with Senate Republicans, but his credentials as the chief operating officer of the Department of Homeland Security put him on the inside track to manage one of the most complicated portfolios in the administration.
In 2015, Mayorkas was investigated for allegedly expediting EB-5 investor visas for projects supported by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Anthony Rodham, Clinton’s brother.
“I say it unequivocally, and I say it after 16 years of service to this country: I have never, ever in my career exercised undue influence to [change] the outcome of a case,” Mayorkas said to a Senate panel probing the accusations. “I have never based my decisions on who brings a case, but rather upon the facts of the law.”
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com