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President Barack Obama Nominates Three Latinos to Key Roles, Including ICE and Small Business Administration

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First Posted: Aug 30, 2014 09:51 AM EDT
Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama smiles while delivering a statement from the White House Press Briefing Room ahead of a meeting with his national security council in Washington, August 28, 2014. (Photo : REUTERS/Larry Downing)

President Barack Obama announced his latest nominations to "key" administration posts, including three Latinos, which could affect immigration management.

Obama nominated Sarah R. Saldaña as assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. ICE, created in 2003, is the main investigative arm of the DHS and works on border control, customs, trade and immigration. According to ICE, the agency conducted 368,644 deportations during the 2013 fiscal year.

Saldaña has been the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas since 2011. She also served as a member of the Attorney General's Advisory Committee. Previously, Saldaña was the deputy criminal chief for the Fraud and Public Corruption section of the district. Saldaña has also worked in various federal agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor and Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Obama nominated Gilberto de Jesús to be the Small Business Administration's Chief Counsel for Advocacy. Since 2009, de Jesús has served as a senior attorney for the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Communications Business Opportunities. De Jesús's experience with the FCC dates back to 2000, when he served as the Investigations and Hearings Division's attorney adviser.

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De Jesús was also a senior legislative fellow for Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md. His connections with business includes consultations with the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and serving as a board member for the Baltimore Development Corporation.

The Department of Transportation could also see a new assistant secretary for transportation policy with. Obama nominated Carlos Monje Jr., who has worked as the Transportation Department's counselor to the secretary since February of this year. From 2011 to 2014, Monje was the special assistant to the President and the chief of staff of the Domestic Policy Council. At the DPC, between 2009 and 2011, he was the senior policy adviser. When Obama served as an Illinois senator, Monje worked as his Special Assistant for Policy and Communications from 2006 to 2007.

Monje was his deputy press secretary for former Democratic South Carolina Sen. John Edwards from 2001 to 2003 before accepting the same position for Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign.

"I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country," Obama said in a statement. "I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

As of early August, Obama has made over 1,470 appointments and nominations.

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