Julin Castro Is Not Afraid
I'm Dorothy Workington on today's politics and more podcast. David remnant talks with Hulan Castro Castro who was the Obama administration secretary of housing and urban development has announced his candidacy for the democratic presidential nomination. President Trump we all know sees immigration as one of his winning issues. He's more than willing to make extreme threats like closing the border entirely. If it makes him look tough one reason the issue worked so well for him is that the Democrats tend to avoid it entirely. There really isn't a coherent view of immigration in the Democratic Party and most candidates in the race. Now barely bring it up except to object to what Trump does. But at least one democrat candidate is eager to talk about immigration, Hooghly and Castro served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration. But he also has former mayor of San Antonio in Texas right near the border, and he wants to change the terms of the presidential debate entirely Castro has suggested that entering the United States without papers should no longer be a federal crime. I spoke to who the Castro last week. And I asked him why he thought focusing on immigration. In policy was precisely the way to be Donald Trump. There's they're different reasons that I've chosen to focus early on and rolled out as my first policy plan on immigration number one, that's close to my heart. You know, my family stories in American. And immigrants American dream story. I grew up with a grandmother that had come over from Mexico, and she was seven she worked as a maid a cook. And a babysitter raised my mom's a single parent. My mom became the first one to graduate from high school, go onto college my brother walking, and I were able to go to college to law school to become the first in our family to become professionals as lawyer, you're the son of real activists of political. Yeah. So my mother and father were involved mostly my mom, but my dad for a little while involved in the old she gonna movement the Mexican American civil rights movement of the late nineteen sixties and early seventies. And my mother was a hell raiser when she was young. She had started off in the Democrats, and then part of their also need a party that was a third party that at the time said that needed the Democrats and Republicans are really sufficiently serving the needs of the Mexican American community in Texas and the southwest so they formed their own party. And by the time, my brother, and I were growing up, you know, her activism was was sort. Out of temping down. But we still grew up being taken to rallies and speeches and different organizational meetings. And so we grew up around this sense that participating in the democratic process was a good thing as you watch President Trump behave as he does and the question of immigration as you listen to his rhetoric on the question of immigration me ask you this is Donald Trump a racist. I think he behaves like a racist with difference. I don't think there is a difference. Yeah. Believe that that yet that he has been racist. Sure. And how do you go bad defeating that? Because I I must tell you. He is it behaves as if he is absolutely convinced that this kind of rhetoric of division on immigration is a winner for him. Maybe more than any other issue. I wanted to go as straight to what this president has considered his bread and butter issue. This is how he Stokes division. This is how he still fear and paranoia. This is what he's counting on in terms of issue to win a narrow electoral college victory. And so I've released a people I immigration plan that represents a completely different vision, you know, and we can get into it. And the core of at the core of it is that we should treat people with compassion and not cruelty and stop treating people like criminals, and instead treat border-crossing like we used to which is a civil violation reduce the backlog of people who are waiting for some sort of a Judaization in our immigration legal process. Somebody deserves a hearing they get their hearing whether they're claiming asylum or the here undocumented, and we can make decisions so people are not waiting years and years in limbo in the United States that we create a pathway to citizenship for people who are undocumented who are here the ten to eleven million people not only dreamers, but also their parents and other undocumented individuals who have not committed a serious crime. Also that we take a long-term smart view. Why would a mom come here with her six year old infant from Honduras, or El Salvador, or what the mullahs in most cases? It's because there's a tremendous danger over there. They can't find safety and they can't find opportunity. So I've proposed the quivalent of twenty-first-century Marshall plan for Central America. So that we can help build up safety and opportunity there, and then get the benefit of not having like we did last month ninety two thousand people show up at our southern border. Now. One of your proposals is to repeal the law, which makes illegal entry in the United States federal crime. Why do you see starting there as an essential first step because the mess? That's been created the chaos that's been created with family separation this cruelty, a lot of the backlog that we have a lot of the expense in the system has developed after two thousand four before two thousand four we used to even though this law on the books, we used to basically treat this as a civil violation a civil penalty after two thousand four we started using incarceration more and treating it as a crime. That's what's led to this mass with family detention with separation with the backlog that we have. So I believe that we can have a better system. If we go back to treat it as a civil violation with enhanced monitoring of these families, so that they show up for their court date. Now, any number of political leaders, including Andrea custody Cortez, a congressman from the Bronx and queens. Wants to ban ice wants to ban immigration and customs enforcement as an institution feels. It's been so morally compromised that it's impossible to go on. I don't hear that from you. What what do you wanna do? I wanna break it up and separate the the the enforcement part of it put that back into mostly the department of Justice, and then have homeland security investigations, which is a separate unit of ice go on and do its investigations about a year year and a half ago. There were nineteen people who work for ice employees. That said look, this is not working the the set up of this department is not working, and I believe that enforcement would be better served. If we actually break is part and separate homeland security investigations from the other part of ice. So the institution is not fundamentally broken in such a way there aren't so many violations undocumented cases of mistreat. By is that you think it's necessary to dissolve it. Well, I don't think it's necessary to do away with their we should do away with enforcement completely. But I do think that we should reconstitute it, and that's part of my plan. I don't think that it should go on the way that it's been. I think that it needs to be changed from the way that agents are trained to administratively where it's located in the federal government. Now, if you get as far as debate stage with President Trump, I guarantee you I guarantee you that he's going to say, you're open borders. Are you? I'm not and nobody is talking about open borders. We have six hundred and fifty four miles of fencing. We have thousands of personnel. We have guns. We have boats we have planes. We have helicopters. We have security cameras all over the border. I'm talking about a system where people still are subject to deportation. So nobody's talking about open borders. But the thing is David is, you know, doesn't matter if I have a plan or another democrat has a plan. He's going to say we're all for open borders, just like they're going to call a socialist. And doesn't matter if you proposed that we literally moved to a socialist system or that some people get, you know, relief on student loans. They're going to say that it's socialism part of the reason that I propose this immigration plan. And that it's so bold is because number one I don't buy into the BS narrative that the people who are coming to the southern border represented national security threat. Secondly because represent desperation and the beauty of this country that people still. See this country as a place of opportunity and safety and that is beautiful in its own way. You know, my brother has this wonderful line that I wish I thought of my brother Joaquin who's in congress that says that there's something a lot worse than the day. When so many people want to come to this country, which is the day that nobody wants to come to this country and people around the world want to come to the United States. We need an orderly way to sort that out. What we don't need is the kind of cruelty that this administration has engaged in. But the other reason that I put for this bold immigration plan is I'm not afraid I'm not afraid of the president on this issue. I was in mcallen, Texas on the border on Father's Day of last year with a group of activists to protest family separation policy, and is depressing and dismayed as it was to be at this Ursula processing center where they were separating children from their. Families. It was uplifting to see that the activists that were there were white and black and of all different backgrounds. Not only Latino, and it reminded me that we share common values and beliefs and one of those is the treat people with basic respect. I'm betting fundamentally that in that head to head that we can win with where are you on the impeachment question, your brother, sits in the house of representatives. You're close how ever competitive, but you're close. There's a big question. Now, Nancy Pelosi says, let's just continue investigating impeach me might be counterproductive. And then there are people within the democratic caucus who say, you know, what what more evidence of obstruction of Justice. We need what we find in the mullahs report where you on this. I believe that the predicate is there for impeachment that the question is going to become this guy on these different occasions. Basically tried to obstruct Justice the fact that he was Frago and not Michael you're referring. To the Corrigan's. Right. The hick meeting the dumb brother, not Michael back that he was saying nobody respected him enough to carry out his orders right versus somebody. Who's orders may have been carried out like, Richard Nixon? That does not absolve him of the fact that he tried to break the law tried to obstruct Justice. And so they're going to have to make a decision about whether we're going to uphold that rule of law and hold him accountable. What are you hoping? I hope they do you. Hope they impeach four. They hold them accountable. Yeah. Now, I hate to skip from the high mindedness of policy, and and the rest to the grittiness of politics, but I have to ask it's obvious that you not leading the pack at the moment, but we're many months away from these early primaries and caucuses what is your path to victory any candidate has to have in his or her mind. A way of seeing the field winnowing, and you emerging as realistic as you are what is that path? My path is of course, I'm gonna focus lot on these early states, especially that I state of Iowa believe that I can do well in Iowa and then go and do well, and especially as a state like Nevada, which is the third state. And then right after Hampshire doesn't look good. Well, it can we're going to spend a lot of time there too. But I've gotten the strongest reaction in Nevada and just gears politician. What does that mean, the strongest reaction you're doing a lot of retail politics, you're going into diners and all kinds of small halls and people's homes. What does that mean a strong reaction as opposed to? Oh, I'm in trouble. You can just tell by the reaction of the crowd, and you know, anybody, and I would imagine it's not just in politics. Right. But. Bad feel like. And there's a rain, but people walking out of the room while you're talking to not really paying attention. Talking. People are hitting the door not very often. But sometimes got a sting, you know, sometimes you can tell that you've hit on an issue that somebody really disagrees with tell an instance of that I've noticed sometimes that I'm very blunt about this issue of police brutality. And that's sense. I have. Yeah. I've noticed on two or three occasions that that you know, one or two people right after that will sometimes I don't know if it's directly related to that. But, you know, have basically, you know, had enough. So be it. I mean, I continue to do it because I believe what I'm talking about. And and the path that we need to take a nation. But you know, the overwhelming majority of folks that are there there because they're interested in hearing from me or from whichever candidate that they're there to listen to but on balance in Iowa, Nevada, so far I can tell that the reaction is the strongest if this if this narrative doesn't end with victory. Sometimes younger politicians run to run again. And where they run for something else. You decided not to run for statewide office. Is that a possibility in the future are I'm not even think about that right now. Let me give you the typical politicians response. David. The I typically part right here, y'all can't see this. But we'll play the. Yeah. I mean, I believe that I can win, you know, I'm not the front runner now. But I wasn't born a front runner. I didn't grow up front runner. I'm going out there and doing what families across the country. Do what my family did which is to work hard to scrap to do everything that I can do to be successful. And I believe that I can be and, you know, the voters are going to decide starting next year who then cashier. It's great to have you here. Again. Good luck to you. Thanks a lot. Thank you. Leeann castro. He's running for the democratic nomination. And I'll be talking with more of the candidates certainly there's enough to go around in the weeks to come all on the New Yorker radio hour.