Julián Castro Unveils ‘People First’ Immigration Plan, First of 2020 Dems
2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro unveiled an extensive immigration plan on Tuesday. He is the first candidate to unveil a detailed immigration plan, putting him out first on an issue that Donald Trump began his 2016 campaign with and plans to once again make central to his re-election bid. Castro's plan is the antithesis to Trump’s -- it would provide a path to citizenship for "undocumented individuals and families who do not have a current pathway to legal status, but who live, work, and raise families in communities throughout the United States." It would also create a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers,” as well as undocumented immigrants who are currently in the country under Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure. And while the Trump administration just announced an end to aid for Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala -- Castro calls for a “21st century Marshall Plan for Central America,” focused on stabilizing the Northern Triangle nations that are the main sources of migration to the U.S. His plan also calls for an end to the three- and ten-year bars that require undocumented individuals -- who otherwise qualify for legal status -- to leave the country and their families behind, in order to attain citizenship. The plan also calls for more funds to properly equip and modernize ports of entry. Castro would increase refugee admissions, reunify families that have been separated at the border, and allow deported veterans who served in the US military to return to the U.S. Notably, he also would repeal Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was used by the George W. Bush administration to apply a criminal violation -- as opposed to a civil infraction -- to anyone entering the U.S. without proper documentation. “It’s time our nation’s immigration system reflect the collective values that we all share — equality, fairness, justice, and compassion. It’s time that we recognize that protecting our borders and treating immigrants with compassion are not mutually exclusive,” Castro wrote in a Medium post on Monday. He heads to Los Angeles on Friday, where he will headline a rally focused on immigration. Castro will then return home to San Antonio for a rally, facing off with Trump who will be in town for a fundraiser. More here.