Appearing Tuesday on MSNBC’s Velshi & Ruhle, longshot 2020 White House candidate Julián Castro (D) claimed the U.S.-Mexico border is “as secure as it ever has been” and re-upped his call to dismantle the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
A partial transcript is as follows:
STEPHANIE RUHLE: Let’s talk about ICE. The president will have members of ICE working overtime next week, as he is calling for raids looking to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants. If elected, you are calling for the breakup of ICE. If ICE were to be broken up, how would you deal with the millions of undocumented immigrants already here and those who are crossing the border, the thousands who are crossing the border?
JULIAN CASTRO: As you know, I was the first 2020 candidate to release a comprehensive immigration plan, and I have a completely different vision for how we’re going to do this than this president. I think what people on different sides of the aisle can acknowledge is that this president has failed. He came in saying that he was going to take care of this “immigration problem,” and he hasn’t. And in our name, little children have been separated from their mothers, people are in cages—
RUHLE: —So, what would you do?
CASTRO: What I would do is, number one, I would make sure that we maintain border security, and I believe that our border is as secure as it ever has been. I would ensure that we maintain it. But secondly, I would treat people with compassion and common sense and not with cruelty. I would make sure that we don’t separate families, that we don’t put people in cages, that we treat them like human beings. I would also get to the root of the problem.
Number one, we’ve got to create an immigration judiciary, immigration court system, that has enough judges and support staff to actually get through the asylum claims so that people are not waiting in limbo for years and years. And we got to get to the base challenge in countries like Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. People are coming over to the United States because they can’t find safety and opportunity there. We need to partner with those countries and I’ve called for a 21st century Marshall Plan, so people can be safe and find opportunities at home instead of coming here.