One exchange, in particular, was between two 2020 Democratic candidates, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who clashed during the first Democratic debate on Wednesday over immigration.
During the heating exchange, Castro pushed his immigration plan to decriminalize illegal border crossings while expressing that Section 1325 should be repealed. O’Rourke didn’t say it should be repealed, causing Castro to later call O’Rourke’s stance on Section 1325 a “mistake.”
“… You’re just looking at one small part of this,” O’Rourke later said. “I’m talking about a comprehensive rewrite of our immigration laws.”
“If you did your homework on this issue, you should know we should repeal this,” Castro snapped back at O’Rourke.
Watch the exchange below:
Julián Castro and Beto O’Rourke clashed over immigration during Wednesday's #DemDebate. The two Texas Democrats went after each other on whether or not coming across the border illegally should be a crime. https://t.co/JCU6jEVSgE pic.twitter.com/Od3uX4XZvV
— CNN (@CNN) June 27, 2019
The former ICE director told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday that Castro’s immigration plan is a “foolish policy.” He also noted that Democrats’ plans — to decriminalize border crossings, have less detention, and provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal migrants — “will simply increase the problem at the border.”
Homan pointed out that 90% of migrants who are released into the U.S. don’t show up for their court date, therefore, detaining even less wouldn’t help the border problem. As for decriminalizing illegal migrants’ entries, when there were consequences such as the “zero tolerance policy,” it “actually worked,” Homan says.
“These people on the stage last night, none of them think we should need a deterrent or a consequence for illegal activity,” Homan said. “… None of these people on the stage last night obviously studied the issue … To blame the president for this issue is just foolish.”
Watch the former ICE director’s interview below:
The president has continued to battle with congressional Democrats to find bipartisan agreement on border funding amid a growing immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and as the clock ticks on border services soon to run out of funds.
The House’s border funding bill was knocked down in the Senate, with the Senate then passing a $4.6 billion bill on Wednesday.
“Time is running out and suffering at the border only grows worse. Speaker Pelosi must put partisanship aside for the sake of providing much-needed humanitarian relief to children and families at the border,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) urged the House speaker on a vote. “I ask the Speaker to bring the Senate bill to the House floor without delay.”
While immigration was discussed during the first Democratic debate, it will likely spark more discussion during Thursday’s second night of debate with contenders such as former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).