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Castro: ‘Don’t Know’ If I’d Keep All Current Border Fencing – ‘Most’ of It Is ‘Going to Stay There’

IAN HANCHETT

On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” 2020 presidential candidate, former HUD Secretary, and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (D) discussed his immigration plan and said that he isn’t sure he would keep all of the current fencing on the border, and that “To the extent, for instance, that some of that fencing goes over environmentally sensitive areas, I would be open to reviewing that. Most of that fencing is there, it’s going to stay there.”

Castro laid out his immigration plan by saying, “I would go back to treating these violations, somebody that’s coming across the border, as a civil penalty, not a criminal one. I would not treat people who are seeking asylum as criminals. I would allow them to make their asylum claim. That would help reduce the backlog that has happened because we’ve been treating this as a crime. I would also be much more active in terms of investing in our judiciary system, so that those asylum claims can be processed. And instead of spending money on useless things like a wall…I would actually spend it on things like the family monitoring program that was developed in the Obama administration, so that when somebody goes — comes over across the border, and they go through the legal process, they’re allowed to be in the country, but they’re actually monitored more carefully in a community-based way, and this program actually had a 99% success rate of people checking back in and making their court appearances.”

Castro added that over the long run, he would form “a stronger partnership with these Northern Triangle countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, so that people can find safety and opportunity there, instead of having to come to the United States and seek opportunity here.”

Anchor Chuck Todd then asked Castro if changing crossing the border into a civil penalty would be open borders.

Castro responded that calling that proposal open borders is a “Republican talking point. We still have 654 miles of fencing. We have thousands of personnel.”

Todd then asked, “Would you keep all that fencing?”

Castro answered, “I don’t know that I would keep every single inch of that fencing. To the extent, for instance, that some of that fencing goes over environmentally sensitive areas, I would be open to reviewing that. Most of that fencing is there, it’s going to stay there.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

 

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