Group criticizes lack of Hispanics in Trump's Cabinet

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez at the NALEO 2015 conference in Las Vegas.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez at the NALEO 2015 conference in Las Vegas.  (Reuters)

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) criticized President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday for breaking an almost three-decade-old tradition by not nominating any Hispanics to his Cabinet.

"We are deeply concerned at the lack of Latinos being considered for positions within the Cabinet. Latinos have been up to the task, serving at the behest of each president since Ronald Reagan," NALEO said in a statement.

"For the past 29 years, both Republican and Democrat Presidents alike have tapped Latinos to put their skills and expertise to work on behalf of the nation by serving as Cabinet members," the group said.

"We stand ready and willing to work with President-elect Trump and members of his transition team to identify Latino leaders who have the experience and drive needed to help move the nation forward in the coming four years," NALEO said.

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So far, Trump has not selected any Hispanics for his Cabinet, whose nominees await Senate confirmation next year.

Most of the individuals nominated for Cabinet posts in the new administration taking office on Jan. 20 are wealthy executives and people with strong conservative credentials or military backgrounds.

Most of them are also white men, including the nominees for the key posts of defense secretary, secretary of state, treasury secretary and attorney general.

The first Hispanic to hold a Cabinet post was Lauro Cavazos, who was selected by President Ronald Reagan to be his education secretary in 1988.

President Barack Obama selected several Hispanics for Cabinet and other top posts, including Tom Perez, who served as labor secretary; Julian Castro, who was secretary of housing and urban development; and Maria Contreras Sweet, the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA).