Julian Castro served as the U.S. secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 2014 – 2017. He was the youngest member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. A member of the Democratic Party, Castro previously served as mayor of his hometown of San Antonio, Texas from 2009 – 2014, and as a member of the San Antonio City Council from 2001 – 2005. Castro’s twin brother Joaquin, a fellow Democrat, has been the U.S. congressman for Texas’ 20th congressional district since 2013. Castro is now seeking the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, and he has recently polled in the low single digits.
Castro, who is of Mexican-American heritage, has a bachelor degree from Stanford University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. As a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Castro presents himself as a full-spectrum leftist/progressive. Perhaps above all else, Castro is particularly aggressive in his leftist advocacy on the issue of immigration.
Electoral History: Castro first successfully sought a seat on the San Antonio City Council in 2001; at the age of 26, he became the youngest city councilman in San Antonio’s history. Castro then unsuccessfully sought the San Antonio mayorship in 2005, losing a run-off to Phil Hardberger. Castro successfully sought the San Antonio mayorship four years later, winning the May 2009 election with over 56% of the vote. At the time, he became the youngest mayor of one of America’s 50 largest cities. Castro was easily re-elected to the San Antonio mayorship in 2011 and 2013. In 2012, he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, thus foreshadowing his leap into the national political arena. He subsequently served as President Obama’s HUD secretary from July 2014 through the end of Obama’s presidency.
On The Issues: Although Castro has never held federal elected office or any state office, he presents himself as a full-spectrum progressive leftist. His 2020 presidential campaign is focused more heavily on immigration than it is on anything else. Castro also emphasizes criminal justice issues, and his campaign website laments “the frightening rate at which unarmed black and brown folks [are] killed by law enforcement officers across America.”
Constitution: Although a lawyer by training, Castro does not have an extensive history of comments or espoused policies by which his views on the Constitution and rule of law can be assessed. Nonetheless, based on the sample size that is public, Castro seems to support a more robust federal regulatory role that is consistent with legal leftism’s preference for more expansive federal power at the expense of state power. He was an aggressive enforcer of the Fair Housing Act, a key piece of federal government-empowering regulatory legislation, during his tenure as HUD secretary. Castro also supports eradicating the Electoral College. Furthermore, Castro supports repealing 8 U.SC. § 1325, which would make illegal entry into the United States a civil, rather than a criminal, offense. Finally, Castro emphatically supports Roe v. Wade.
Economy: Castro vocally supported NAFTA as the mayor of San Antonio, although he has called for increased progressive protections to assuage labor and environmental concerns. As San Antonio mayor, Castro also supported a tax hike to create a city-wide pre-kindergarten program. He supports raising taxes on the wealthy to try to finance his socialized medicine/”universal health care” proposal.
Health Care: Castro previously supported Obamacare but now supports a single-payer/”Medicare-for-All” health insurance system that would amount to a governmental takeover and imposition of socialized health care in America.
Immigration: Castro has taken a hard line in support of amnesty legislative initiatives that would undermine America’s sovereignty and empower brutal Mexican cartels and human trafficking rings. Castro supports a full pathway to citizenship for most of America’s illegal alien populace, including so-called “DREAM-ers.” He has been a consistently harsh critic of the Trump administration’s attempts to secure our border amidst a hitherto unprecedented influx there of Central American migrants. Castro opposes a border wall with Mexico and supports decriminalizing illegal entry into the United States. He supports increasing refugee admissions and efforts to “strengthen family reunification” for illegal aliens. According to his campaign website, he supports “effectively end[ing] the use of detention in conducting immigration enforcement.”
Foreign Policy: Castro has a thin record of public comments and proposed policies in the realm of foreign affairs, but he supports a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. He has also voiced support for the strong U.S. relationship with South Korea.
Abortion: Castro is emphatically pro-abortion and has not identified a single abortion restriction he would support. He strongly opposed a Texas law to ban abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation. Castro has called for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which has historically proscribed taxpayer funding of abortion.
Guns: Castro has frequently espoused support for gun control policies that would infringe upon Americans’ Second American rights. He supports expanded background checks and limitations or bans on certain weapons and magazines that are currently in wide distribution. Castro supports a ban on the undefinable sub-class of firearms referred to as so-called “assault weapons” — a line of thought that, if taken to its logical conclusion, could lead to the banning of all semi-automatic firearms in America.