If you have never heard of or know very little about Democratic candidate and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, it’s completely understandable. After all, he is literally at the very bottom of the Democratic field and running low on both poll support and fundraising.
So you could see why he would be willing to try just about anything to get his name back in the headlines and gain some recognition. However, I don’t think his latest stunt is going to work out for him as he hoped.
One of his key campaign arguments has been that Trump’s immigration system is broken and needs to be completely undone. He, like several other Democrat candidates, believes in open borders, more rights for illegal immigrants, and the destruction of the current immigration policies such as the Remain in Mexico program.
And so to prove his support of the immigrants and those not allowed legally be here, he went on Mexico on Monday and personally escorted 13 immigrants to the US border who were seeking asylum here in the States.
He crossed into Matamoros, Mexico, just south of Brownsville, Texas, where he met with and rounded up the asylum seekers. According to NPR and Breitbart, these migrants were part of the LGBTQ community and did not feel safe waiting out their court-appointed dates in Mexico, where they feared harassment and violence.
Castro and his team then walked the group and their lawyers across the international bridge to ask for asylum inside the US. Castro claimed they were exempt from the Migrant Protection Protocol policy, also known as Remain in Mexico, due to their status.
The Customs and Border Patrol agreed to let them come through for interviews and to hear their cases.
But a short three hours later found all 13 of them back on Mexican soil to await their court dates. You see, these people had already been processed once and given a court date. And while exceptions can be made for those in dire circumstances, this group of migrants didn’t qualify.
According to the current MPP policy that Trump put in place, both the United States and Mexico agreed that asylum seekers would plead their case at the border, be given a court date, and then required to wait in Mexico until that date. This has freed up a considerable amount of space in US border facilities, allowing funding to go much further and conditions there not to be so crowded. It has also kept a great many cases of fraud and illegality from happening within the states.
Before these asylum seekers were processed at the border, given a court date, and then allowed to roam freely within the states until their court date. Only many never showed for this court appearance, choosing, instead, to hide from federal agents and live illegally here. Much of the funding given to CBP was then used to find, detain, and deport those who were not deemed eligible for asylum.
However, now, this funding and use of personnel can be used for much more important things like housing and feeding thousands of unaccompanied children that arrive at the US’s southern border daily.
Did Castro honestly think that his appearance and aid to this dozen or so people would make a difference? The laws are in place for a good reason, and if he thinks that his candidacy gives him an excuse to not play by the rules then he has another thing coming.
But at least we now know what kind of leader he would be, one that excuses some actions as allowable just because of his position. FYI, just because you are in the running, however slim the chances are, for president doesn’t give you or anyone you side with a get out of jail free card, or a get into the US free card, for that matter.
Furthermore, this little stunt proved that he really doesn’t care about his constituents or those he claims to. Can you imagine being promised to have your dreams come true by this man, only to be suddenly shut down and left in the exact place you were before?
Castro used these people’s position to give himself a little bit of fame, his 15 minutes on CNN. And when it was done and over with, he simply got to go home and continue his campaign. While these people, he instilled hope in were left with their dreams crushed.
That’s not the kind of leader anyone needs or wants.