Who is right, Julian Castro or Beto O’Rourke on de-criminalizing immigrants?

by Alex Gonzalez

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I am going to briefly explain what Both Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke meant regarding Section 1325 and you make your own choice as to who actually meant a real solution to stop the de-criminalization of those who enter without authorization.

Section 1325, the part of Title 8 of the United States Code that makes it a misdemeanor to enter the country without authorization.

To start, let’s acknowledge that from Bill Clinton, to George W. Bush, to Barrack Obama, to Trump,  they all used Section 1325 to draft punitive laws that further criminalized “illegal immigration” at the U.S.-Mexico border.        

What Julian Castro is proposing is the complete removal of Section 1325 so those who are caught entering the U.S. without authorization cannot be detained, jailed, and process for deportation. More importantly, in Castro’s argument, this Section 1325 is the foundation of any laws that have further criminalized people whose only “crime” is a civil misdemeanor.

In other words, Customs Border Protection (CBP) agents will have no right to detain those entering illegally, even if you enter illegally since immigrants entering illegally will not be “breaking” any laws.

What Beto O’Rourke is arguing is that we need to keep Section 1325 to identify those who are entering illegally and are “criminals,” but stop using Section 1325 to criminalize those who only come here to work or fleeing violence, asylum seekers.

What plan is more applicable?

If we look at both comprehensive immigration bills of 2006 and 2013 proposed by both parties that actually passed in the U.S. Senate we can conclude that we need at leas some type of congressional law to identify who comes here illegally.

Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst, Founder of Latino Public Policy Foundation (LPPF), and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or @AlexGonzTXCA

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