Perez (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In his first speech as Labor secretary, Thomas Perez called for sweeping immigration reform to prevent a "skills gap" that would adversely affect workers and businesses, and he also called for a minimum-wage hike. Increasing the wages of low-paid workers wouldn't hurt businesses and would spur economic revival, Perez argues. "As we emerge from the worst recession of our lifetime, I will make it my top priority to expand opportunity," he said.

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