Bor­der, health top Cas­tro’s strat­egy

Pres­i­den­tial hope­ful takes ‘Face the Na­tion’ stage

San Antonio Express-News - - METRO - By Dy­lan McGuin­ness STAFF WRITER

Pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Julián Cas­tro took his case to “Face the Na­tion” Sun­day morn­ing, one day af­ter an­nounc­ing his candidacy at the West Side’s Plaza Guadalupe.

The for­mer San An­to­nio mayor crit­i­cized Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s lead­er­ship on im­mi­gra­tion, telling host Mar­garet Bren­nan that the pres­i­dent has failed on the is­sue and is now try­ing to stoke his po­lit­i­cal base by talk­ing about the need for a wall.

“What I be­lieve is he’s cre­ated a tragedy at the bor­der,” Cas­tro said. “His pol­icy of sep­a­rat­ing chil­dren from their par­ents and the ter­ri­ble way that the Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion has man­aged its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the deaths of two chil­dren within the last few weeks, that’s a real tragedy.”

Two Gu­atemalan chil­dren — an 8-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl — died 17 days apart in fed­eral cus­tody in De­cem­ber, prompt­ing agency in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the cir­cum­stances that led to the deaths.

Cas­tro said he would stop the prac­tice of de­tain­ing asy­lum-seek­ers and push for com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion reform, which he said is nec­es­sary to ad­dress the coun­try’s bro­ken sys­tem.

“Well what I be­lieve we can do … (is) to look at things like an­kle mon­i­tors, so that we’re able to mon­i­tor where peo­ple are in the coun­try and en­sure that they re­port back when they need to, and that they’re a part of le­gal pro­ceed­ings,” Cas­tro said.

He said his plan for im­mi­gra­tion reform would in­clude “smart, ef­fec­tive” bor­der se­cu­rity and a path to cit­i­zen­ship for il­le­gal im­mi­grants in the coun­try who

have oth­er­wise fol­lowed the law.

Cas­tro, who also led the Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, said most Amer­i­cans sup­port a uni­ver­sal health care sys­tem, and he would con­sider in­creas­ing taxes for the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans and cor­po­ra­tions to sup­port new do­mes­tic spend­ing.

“I’m un­der no il­lu­sion that ac­com­plish­ing some­thing like Medi­care For All would be easy,” Cas­tro said, “but I do be­lieve that in this na­tion — in the rich­est na­tion on earth — that not a sin­gle per­son should be with­out health care when they need it.”

When pressed for how the gov­ern­ment would pay for the pro­gram, Cas­tro said his cam­paign would re­lease plans in the near fu­ture.

“I think that we can con­sider dif­fer­ent ways, dif­fer­ent pro­pos­als to be able to raise more rev­enue from the wealth­i­est cor­po­ra­tions,” he said.

Ed­ward A. Or­nelas / Getty Im­ages

Julián Cas­tro cam­paigned for im­mi­gra­tion reform and uni­ver­sal health care Sun­day.

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