‘Immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security…’
But U.S. immigration officials returned the migrants to Mexico shortly after they arrived due to the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which requires asylum-seekers to wait south of the border until their cases can be heard in the U.S.
The policy replaced the old catch-and-release strategy, which led to thousands of illegal immigrants overstaying their welcome, according to immigration officials.
More than 50,000 asylum seekers have been sent back to Mexico while they await hearings on their asylum status.
Critics of the policy, like Castro, have said it’s “illegal” and that it discriminates against “vulnerable” migrants.
“This Remain in Mexico program is a complete disaster,” Castro said. “People should not be living like this.”
After touring several facilities along the southern border, Castro claimed Trump “has helped create a humanitarian crisis.”
Castro is one of the more radical Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination.
He has advocated for open borders and has said that if elected, he would decriminalize all border crossings.
“The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security,” Castro said earlier this year. “Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue.”
Castro went on to blame Trump for “failing” immigrants.
“The president’s failure in this defining moment was complete: It was a failure of leadership, a failure of policy, and a failure of conscience,” he argued. “But those all stemmed from an original and foundational failure: a failure to understand that despite the rhetoric, when we see families seeking refuge, we don’t see criminals, or an invasion, or a threat to national security.”