Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has a plan to change immigration policy in the U.S. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary wants to address immigrant detention, family reunification and the immigration court system.
By Steve Inskeep and Steve Mullis
In stark contrast to current policy, he also wants to decriminalize crossing the border illegally, a plan he outlined in a Medium post in April.
“For a long time in this country we actually did not treat crossing the border as a criminal act. We treated it as a civil violation,” Castro told NPR. “A lot of the problems that we see in the system today flared up after we started treating it as a criminal offense.”
President Trump has taken a hard line on illegal immigration, declaring a national emergency at the Southern border. Last week, he proposed a dramatic change to the legal immigration system to prioritize certain job skills over people seeking asylum or those who have relatives in the U.S.
Castro disagrees with that approach.