It takes a village plus a lot more to be successful in politics, and it usually starts with a large family. We had the Kennedy brothers and the Bush brothers. Cuba had the Castro brothers, Fidel and Raulito. Then there is another pair of hermanos named Castro from the state of Texas, and one of them hopes to be president of the United States.
Julian Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and HUD Secretary under President Obama, scored plenty of points in the first round of the Democratic debates in Miami. A key topic of his campaign, as you might guess, is immigration reform. At the debate, Castro kicked things off by making reference to El Salvador migrant Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his 18 month old daughter, who both drowned recently while trying to cross the Rio Grande near Matamoros.
“What happened to Oscar and (daughter) Valeria was heartbreaking,” said Castro with emotion. “It should piss us all off.” Later, he further explained his position.
“This playing games with people who simply want to make an asylum claim is also causing people to take risks.”
The guts of Castro’s platform is to make migrant crimes such as crossing the border illegally a civil offense. He also wants to repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act that makes it possible to separate families. Castro also favors giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, an idea that has been less than popular and what many conservatives say is kin to open borders. Castro disagrees.
“There’s no way we can call that open borders when we have 654 miles of fencing and thousands of personnel,” he argues. “We have planes, helicopters, boats, security cameras and guns.
“And secondly, there is still a civil court process,” Castro continues. “There are still people getting deported. There are still people who are applying for asylum and are not granted asylum.”
Julian Castro, 44, has always been a scrappy supporter of human rights. He and his twin brother, U.S. Congress member Joaquin Castro, were raised by their single mom Rosie, a Chicana activist who helped form the political party La Raza Unida. Julian is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School. Once an intern in the Bill Clinton administration, he was strongly considered as a running mate for Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign.
Now Julian Castro has an eye on the presidency himself. At the Miami debate, he landed plenty of jabs at fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke and was one of the more impressive candidates on stage. Afterwards, Google reported a 2400 percent spike on Julian Castro searches, and funds have started to roll in.