Things That Matter

Julian Castro Is Running For President On A Platform Of Giving A Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million People

Julián Castro became the first Democratic presidential hopeful to reveal his immigration plan. The former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development released his immigration platform on April 2 in what he calls his “People First” immigration policy. While many in the Democratic field have called for immigrant protection from deportation under DACA, Temporary Protected Status, and Deferred Enforced Departure programs, Castro’s proposal goes deeper. Here’s what you should know about his immigration policy.

Castro wants to make it a civil violation, instead of a misdemeanor crime, to cross the border without legal permission.

Castro proposes to repeal the provision of U.S. law that makes “illegal entry” into the US a federal crime, which has been a law since 1929 but has only been routinely enforced in the 21st century. The law got new life under the George W. Bush administration, leading to a shift to criminalization of immigration policy.

Basically, under Castro’s policy, an immigrant crossing into the U.S. without papers — whether they were was seeking asylum or coming in for some other reason — would not be committing a federal crime. If the individual did’t quality for asylum , they would be then be deported.

“The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security,” Castro wrote in a Medium post outlining his plan. “Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil — not a criminal — issue.”

There is also a plan to overhaul the immigration system.

Castro’s new policy isn’t just focused on the U.S. border. He is calling for the government to get out of the business of routine immigration enforcement. He plans to take on the recent movement to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency in charge of enforcing immigration laws. Castro wants to see the agency change its tactics from routine arrests and detention to rather enforcing more serious crimes and threats to national security.

He also wants to see immigration courts be removed from the U.S. attorney general’s authority. Currently, the courts are under the Department of Justice which means the attorney general has much power to regulate certain policies and set precedent. This was obvious when former attorney general Jeff Sessions was leading family separation policy efforts last summer.

Castro wants to create a pathway to full and equal citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people living in the country.

Castro has a broad vision of what he believes will benefit the U.S. long term when it comes to immigration. The number of immigrants waiting to gain full U.S. citizenship keeps growing and, in the last year, these figures have only climbed.

To help with this, Castro plans on getting rid of the three- and 10-year bars placed on the spouse of a U.S. citizen getting a green card for years if they lived in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant.

“We need a pathway to full and equal citizenship for the 11 million people living here peacefully, and contributing to our culture and our economy,” Castro wrote. “We must protect Dreamers and their parents, and folks under protected status who fled natural disasters, persecution, or violence. We need to revamp the visa system and end the backlog of people who are waiting to reunite with their families.”

He also plans to help with the increasing number of Central American Refugees coming to the U.S.

Castro is “calling for a 21st century Marshall Plan for Central America,” that will support countries that are major sources migration in the U.S. The proposed plan calls for greater diplomacy in these regions and economic development that will enable people in those countries to “build a life in their communities rather than make a dangerous journey leaving their homes.”

This includes expanding ports of entry to make it easier for people to seek asylum without crossing illegally, supporting shelters and humane care for immigrant families, and expanding access to counsel for asylum seekers. 

While there are still some questions and concerns for Castro’s immigration policy, it’s a start in the right direction. Castro has been the only candidate to lay out a comprehensive immigration policy that is challenging our current system in place. The immigration plan has been met with a positive reaction so far and that will be key if Castro is going to be a major player in the 2020 race.

Read: Trump Wants To Release Detained Immigrants Into Sanctuary Cities And Democrats Are Demanding Answers On The Controversial Plan

Trump Appears To Be Laying The Groundwork To Contest The Election With These 3 Alarming Statements

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Trump Appears To Be Laying The Groundwork To Contest The Election With These 3 Alarming Statements

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

With less than 100 days until the election, Trump is working hard to do something that no previous president has ever done before: falsely claim that an election was fixed against him in order to discredit the vote. Trump has repeatedly — and incorrectly — claimed the election will be “rigged” against him.

The president has promoted crazy conspiracy theories and outright lies to whip up his core supporters to wrongly believe he is the victim of some unknown, shadowy “deep state” plot. In an interview that aired last week, he refused to commit to accepting the results in November.

From increased vote-by-mail to widespread fraud (which is essentially a non-factor in U.S. elections), Trump is already working to dispute the results of the 2020 election. With less than 100 days to go, we are careening toward an extraordinarily dangerous crisis of American democracy.

Recently, Trump seems to be trying to case the legitimacy of the 2020 elections into doubt.

Voting rights experts and political strategists on both sides of the aisle are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede. These experts are keenly aware of President Donald Trump’s well-documented history of lying about voter fraud and claiming that elections were “rigged” when he doesn’t like the outcome. 

And if he’s literally building a case against the election, it became clearer that Trump is absolutely willing to dispute the results. During a recent Fox News interview, Trump refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the election. “I have to see,” Trump replied, “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”

Trump seems to be hinging his doubts on the increase of mail-in voting in the age of Coronavirus.

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, more Americans than ever are expected to case mail-in ballots this year, so it will definitely take longer for the results to be announced. There’s no denying that. Even elections experts are now replacing “election night” with “election week,” because it could take days for a winner to be announced. In fact, both presidential campaigns have set aside millions of dollars and recruited lawyers for the looming legal fights.

So there is good reason to brace for chaos. One has to look no further than the recent primary season, which broke new ground for how elections are conducted. States dramatically scaled up vote-by-mail options, using spring and summer primaries as a “dry-run” for the November election. There were successes, like Kentucky, with its sprawling “supercenters” where people could safely vote in-person. But there were disasters too, like Wisconsin and Georgia, which were plagued by missing absentee ballots and grueling lines.

Meanwhile, Trump has been very open about his views on main-in voting: He has repeatedly said it threatens his reelection chances and would hurt Republicans across the board, even though nonpartisan experts say neither party typically gets an automatic boost from postal voting. To prevent these perceived losses, Trump pleaded with states to restrict mail-in voting by falsely claiming it is plagued by “massive fraud and abuse” and leads to “rigged elections.” His efforts have been unsuccessful. Officials implemented reforms from Republican-haven Utah to liberal Vermont.

Trump’s already calling the election “rigged.”

As Trump slides in the polls, he already declared that his matchup this fall against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “will be the most rigged election in our nation’s history.”

Those are some serious accusations and, coming from a sitting president, do a lot to undermine American democracy and the integrity of our elections.

He’s also predicted massive fraud and suggested delaying the election.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted, offering no evidence for a debunked assertion. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Trump has a long history of denouncing election results he doesn’t agree with.

For at least the past eight years, Donald Trump has a well-established past of questioning the legitimacy of elections, even though there was no proof of widespread irregularities or fraud in any of these elections.

In 2012, in the race against Obama, Trump supported Mitt Romney and when Romney lost the election, Trump denounced the results as a “total sham” and tweeted, “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”

Then during the first contest of the 2016 primary season, Trump lost Iowa to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump responded by saying “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” and accused Cruz of committing “fraud.” Trump called for a new election, said Cruz’s results should be “nullified” and said “the State of Iowa should disqualify” Cruz.

That same year, the won Trump actually won the presidency, Trump infamously refused to commit that he would accept the results. Instead, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Even after Trump won, he falsely claimed there were millions of illegal votes in California and other states, creating a false narrative to explain why he lost the popular vote to Clinton.

Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

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Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

Drew Angerer / Getty

TRIGGER WARNING for victims of assault.

Recently we came across six stories by women who opened up about why they didn’t report their sexual assault via the account @whyididntreport. Heartbreaking, tragic, and also empowering each of these stories were a reminder that not only do we need to believe women but also support them.

As a response to the posts, we asked Latinas what experiences they had with keeping quiet about their assaults.

See their stories below.

Because it was a family member

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“My mom did not believe me because it was her husband … we would always fight and he would put her against me … that’s why I always say my children will always come first … then anyone … even before me and my own needs.” – soley_geez

Because of the statute of limitations

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I did report. The cop taking notes told me they couldn’t file the report because of the statue of limitation being 10 years. I was reporting 13 years after I was raped. I was 3 years old when it happened. I was 16 when I reported.” – jedi_master_evila

Because she’d been labeled dramatic

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my ex boyfriends cousin and I was intoxicated after a night of partying with a group of friends. I said no over and over again. I never came forward because I was already labeled/seen as “dramatic” by my ex and his friends and figured they wouldn’t believe me.” – love.jes

Because she was punished by her parents

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I was 12. He was 18. My parents found a note he wrote to me. They spoke harshly with him but never pressed charges and punished me for lying.” 0valicorn_rainbow_pants

Because it was someone she thought loved her

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I had a boyfriend rape me after I confronted him about lying and cheating. He used it as a way to punish me. And I stayed with him a year after the fact. I’m still processing feelings almost 20 years later. I’ve gone through self-destructive behaviors and tried to push others away. I’m forever grateful my husband showed me I am worthy of a beautiful life even after trauma. To all my fellow trauma survivors…we are worthy of good things.” – thebitchyhippie559

She thought she deserved it

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my “step” grandfather. He molested me from ages 5-10, I was having some rebellious teen years and my parents were trying to find out why. I told them, my dad didn’t talk to me for a few days and after that everyone pretended that nothing happened and the rest of my family never found out. I held on to this secret until I told my parents at about 16 or 17 I was always so embarrassed and thought I deserved it.” – klemus09

She didn’t want to ruin HIS life

“It was my boss. At 15 I felt so bad, bc the wife was the only other person working with us and I was more worried about what this could do to their marriage. I thought I healed but typing this was hard.” –dolores.arts

If you or someone you know needs to report sexual assault, please contact the National Sexual Assault Helpline 800.656.4673 or speak with someone you trust.⁠⠀