Donald Trump is set to nominate Thomas Perez, an Obama-appointed attorney general, to lead the Justice Department, his transition team said Tuesday.
Perez, the longest-serving chief of the Department of Justice, previously headed the Office of Civil Rights under President Obama.
His nomination would mark the second time a Democrat has been nominated to lead a federal law enforcement agency in as many years.
The move comes amid Trump’s push to expand the scope of the federal government’s immigration enforcement powers.
Trump has promised to end the nation’s deportation policies and has said he wants to use the new powers to round up and deport thousands of immigrants living in the United States illegally.
The Justice Department has been criticized for allowing thousands of people to remain in the country illegally despite receiving a pardon from President Barack Obama.
The Obama administration issued a series of orders that barred immigrants with serious criminal records, who were previously allowed to remain here, from returning to the country after their sentences were up and the terms of their parolees were completed.
The order also limited immigration authorities to detaining people in custody until they are released from federal custody, and barred immigrants from receiving federal benefits, such as Social Security benefits, for six months after their release.
Pelosi and other Democrats have called for Perez to be removed from the role, saying that he is not qualified to be the top law enforcement official in the U.S. The former Democratic National Committee chairwoman and vice chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, respectively, are the highest ranking Democrats in Congress.
Petersons nomination will be submitted to President Donald Trump for his signature.