Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary under President Barack Obama, formally declared on Saturday that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president in the 2020 contest—an announcement that’s been expected since he launched an exploratory committee last month.
JUST IN: Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro announces his candidacy for president: “I am a candidate for president of the United States of America.” https://t.co/Cu08QouIQ3 pic.twitter.com/Xu2Z3q8pYL
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 12, 2019
In a Saturday morning speech at San Antonio’s Plaza Guadalupe, Castro denounced President Donald Trump’s immigration policies—including his demand for billions of dollars in border wall funding that’s produced the longest government shutdown in U.S. history—and his characterization of refugees from Central and South America arriving at the Southern border as “a national security crisis.”
“There is a crisis today. It’s a crisis of leadership. Donald Trump has failed to uphold the values of our great nation,” 44-year-old Castro told the crowd. “Yeah, we have to have border security, but there is a smart and a humane way to do it. And there is no way in hell that caging babies is a smart or a good or a right way to do it. We say no to building a wall and say yes to building community.”
“There are serious issues that need to be addressed in our broken immigration system, but seeking asylum is a legal right. And the cruel policies of this administration are doing real harm and damage,” added Castro, who is the grandson of a Mexican immigrant and would be the first Latino president.
Laying out other key components of his campaign platform, Castro noted his support for Medicare for All and his rejection of corporate political action committee (PAC) money as well as his dedication to taking…