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A Top Trump Nominee Admitted He Employed An Undocumented Immigrant For Years

Commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross said he employed the person for seven years.

Posted on January 18, 2017, at 11:12 a.m. ET

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump's nominee for commerce secretary admitted at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he had employed an undocumented household worker for seven years.

Wilbur Ross told the Senate Commerce Committee that while preparing for the hearing, he "rechecked" the identification of his approximately one dozen household employees. Ross confirmed that one employee, hired in 2009, wasn't able to provide proper US documentation and that he was fired within the past month or so.

The issue came up at the start of Ross' hearing, when committee chairman Sen. John Thune asked Ross to clarify what had happened. Thune said Ross had informed the committee of the issue during the vetting process.

"Upon your nomination and as part of this nomination process, my understanding is that you determined that you had hired a household employee in 2009 who presented a Social Security card in the employee's name along with a valid driver's license," Thune said. "But he recently was unable to provide similar documentation again."

"Those are the facts and we did the best that we thought we could do," Ross said.

Thune thanked Ross "for being forthcoming about this particular matter," as did ranking Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson.

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