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Labor Secretary Tom Perez Says President Barack Obama's Executive Action Is Guaranteed, Immigration Reform Is 'Not a Question' [Video]

First Posted: Oct 02, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
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labor-secretary-tom-perez(Photo : Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Labor Secretary Tom Perez is standing by President Barack Obama amid his decision to delay executive action on immigration until after Election Day.

In a speech to a mostly Latino crowd at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute conference on Wednesday, Perez remained confident that Obama would fix immigration, NBC News reports.

"As he has done with minimum wage over time, he will not hesitate to take executive action," he said. "I'm confident, because I've worked for this guy a while, that on immigration, we're going to get it right on the administration side."

Despite the delay, Perez believes executive action is a guarantee.

"... the question of executive action, my friends, is a when question because the question of immigration reform is not a question," he said according to RealClearPolitics. "The need for immigration reform is an economic imperative. It's a moral imperative. It's a national security imperative. And it is an issue that is all about his values and his leadership. That is why I love working for this president ..."

According to NBC, the conference continues Thursday with a speech from Obama, and one immigration group has announced it will be protesting.

Perez insists, however, that Obama has met with those who desperately need immigration reform -- including a group of women who he told that immigration reform was his biggest priority without the media around -- and understands.

The Labor Secretary has been named as a potential replacement for retiring Attorney General Eric Holder but said currently his "focus is on the DOL."

Still, Perez, whose parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic, already has support from Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York Observer reports.

"I'm a real fan of our secretary of labor," she said Tuesday. "So I'd like to say it here publicly, I'm the first one to sign up to recruit you to be our next Attorney General, and to continue to build on the work of our great Attorney General Eric Holder."

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Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar.

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