On "The View": Julian Castro on his performance at first 2020 Democratic presidential debate
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Julian Castro, fresh off a strong performance in Wednesday’s night’s 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Miami, appeared on ABC’s The View Thursday, telling the hosts, “I need to introduce myself to a lot of voters and I think I did that last night.”
Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio and housing chief during the Obama administration, drew attention when he sparred with fellow Texan, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, over immigration.
They got into the heated debate while discussing child separation at the border, with Castro saying that O’Rourke’s policy criminalized families attempting to gain entry into the United States.
O’Rourke was asked what he would do on day one as president in terms of immigration and spoke about the image of a drowned father and daughter seen lying face down in Rio Grande river near Brownsville, Texas, while trying to cross from Mexico into the U.S. O’Rourke said “we would accept them into this country and follow our own asylum laws. We would not build walls, would not put kids in cages. In fact, we would spare no expense to reunite the families.”
Castro interrupted saying “Your policy criminalized… a lot of these families.” O’Rourke ended by saying “We would not detain any family fleeing violence” and “We would implement a family case management program, so they could be cared for in the community at a fraction of the cost.”
Castro responded by attacking O’Rourke’s record.
“Let’s be very clear,” Castro said. “The reason that they’re separating these little children from their families is that they’re using section 1325 of that act which criminalizes coming across the border to incarcerate the parents then separate them. Some of us on this stage have called to end that section, to terminate it. Some like congressman O’Rourke have not. And I want to challenge all of the candidates to do that. I just think it’s a mistake, Beto. I think it’s a mistake. I think that if you truly want to change the system, that we got to repeal that section.”
O’Rourke defended his record, saying that while in Congress, he “helped to introduce legislation that would ensure that we don’t criminalize those who are seeking asylum and refuge in this country.”
But that wasn’t good enough for Castro, who told O’Rourke “I think that you should do your homework on this issue, if you did your homework on this issue you would know that we should repeal this section.”
Castro has struggled with gaining traction in the polls since joining the race in January. He told ABC News on Wednesday that his name recognition is not currently as high as some other candidates, but said he hoped that by the end of the debate, people will better understand his experience and vision for the country.
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