Joe Biden nominates Miguel Cardona for Education Secretary

Advocacy groups for the rights of Latinos praise the US President-elect's choice

US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Miguel Cardona to be his education secretary, marking a new record for the potential number of Latinos in the cabinet.

"In Miguel Cardona, America will have an experienced and dedicated public school teacher leading the way," Mr Biden said.

The incoming president said Mr Cardona's appointment "will help us address systemic inequities" and "tackle the mental health crisis in our education system," as well as ease student debt and give teachers a raise.

Mr Biden, who takes office on January 20, has already tapped Alejandro Mayorkas as head of the Department of Homeland Security and Xavier Becerra as health secretary.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) welcomed the nomination and congratulated Mr Biden for making good on his promise to surpass the number of Latinos in the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama.

"The choice of Miguel A Cardona as Secretary of Education signals that now we have the possibility, if he is confirmed, to see for the first time in history, three Latinos in the cabinet," the organisation said.

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) said Mr Cardona, as a native of Puerto Rico, faced difficulties learning English in preschool and has spent the bulk of his career working to bridge the gap between minority students and their peers.

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Gallery: Joe Biden's diverse cabinet