Julián Castro seemed to sidestep an immigration question during a Fox News town hall on Thursday.
The Democratic presidential candidate was asked a question about immigration from a woman who had her identity stolen by an illegal immigrant.
“He was caught and then released on his own recognizance, never to be heard from again,” she said to Castro. “My question is, would you be willing to penalize offenders taking advantage of Americans by having them not released if they’re known to be illegal?”
Castro began his answer by making an excuse for the man’s actions.
“Let me begin to answer that question by saying, look, all of us know as human beings that regardless of circumstance, whether people are rich, or poor, no matter the color of their skin, what their background is, that people commit crime. Crime happens,” said Castro.
While he did admit the man should have been punished for his crimes, he diverted to talking about illegal immigrants being detained while trying to cross the border.
“What I don’t believe is that we should be incarcerating these women and children who are fleeing desperate circumstances in those countries and simply are looking for a better life, and then we’re keeping them in cages like animals, and keeping these men in 100 degree heat, underneath a bridge, they’re fenced in like animals, like a dog pound basically. I believe that we’re better than that as Americans. And so, of course, we need to enforce those laws, whether it’s identity theft or it’s more serious crimes. I’ve said that very clearly.”
Castro received backlash from conservatives on Twitter, questioning his rhetoric when it came to immigration.
Read some reactions below:
Yes @JulianCastro people will commit crimes. However, and Undocumented immigrant cannot be found after committing murder, or other crimes. This is why its important to have documentation to this country. You’re an idiot.
— Newell G. Boyce (@NewellGBoyce) June 14, 2019
Why can’t any Democrat say “illegal immigrant”? They try so hard not to say that, soon the are going to start calling them “undocumented Americans” or something like that.
— Daniel Alexander (@Dan_A_Valverde) June 13, 2019
Illegals don’t just happen. Illegals are primarily drawn by Leftist Democrat policies and agendas. Illegals by default are criminals. The devastation they exact on our people and our society is at the hands of Leftist Democrats.
— Colorado Patriot 🇺🇸 (@redco2012) June 13, 2019
The entire immigration debate in 2 words https://t.co/QjpozFUFqJ
— Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) June 13, 2019
Is this Jimmy Fallon because I would understand this answer to be a joke.
— Clayton A. (@claytonashcraft) June 13, 2019