Democrat presidential hopeful and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro stated in a recent NPR discussion that he would “issue an executive order ending the Migrant Protection Protocol” should he be elected president.
Castro’s remarks came during the first installment of Off Script with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro, where he sat down with voters who pressed him on an array of issues.
After hearing from Dani Marrero Hi, an immigration rights organizer who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Castro was asked how he would “change the asylum system as it is now.”
“Immediately, I would issue an executive order ending the Migrant Protection Protocol or ‘remain in Mexico’ policy,” Castro said in response.
“It’s a disaster of a policy,” Castro continued. “It flies in the face of the way that the United States has honored asylum claims in the past and I would actually go back to how we used to do this, which was more effective.”
Pressed on whether “how we used to do this” was more effective, Castro said, “It was more effective than what we have now, but it does have to be improved. And one of the ways we can improve it is to improve our immigration court system so that they have the resources to actually go through these claims.”
Castro also stated he would work to “change some of the policy that” the Trump administration has implemented since 2017.
If somebody has been the victim of domestic violence or gang violence that that does count toward making an asylum claim. There are ways that we can improve it, but the first thing we’ve gotta do is end this ‘remain in Mexico’ policy that is subjecting people who are already desperate to beatings and extortion and to these drug cartels that are kidnapping them and then getting money from their relatives in central America.
Castro was also asked if he would be willing to “come and help” migrants seeking to come to America as Democrat presidential hopeful and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) did in July.
Castro spoke on his experiences of visiting migrant detention centers and told the voter that he and his campaign “would be glad to see how we can be helpful in doing that.”
The United States Department of Homeland Security outlines Migrant Protection Protocols as: “The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) are a U.S. Government action whereby certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico – illegally or without proper documentation – may be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings, where Mexico will provide them with all appropriate humanitarian protections for the duration of their stay.”