After watching last night’s Democratic B-Team presidential debate, it’s hard to put a finger on who was the most radical figure on the stage. There was intense competition from Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, and Tulsi Gabbard, but, for my money, Julian Castro won the prize for being the most far-out candidate. Castro, who presented himself well in the debate, nevertheless surpassed the other liberals on the stage not once but twice last night.
It’s difficult to stand out on abortion in a party in which advocacy of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand up to the moment of birth is becoming the norm, but Castro succeeded. How did he do it? you may wonder. I’ll tell you: He did it by advocating abortions for men. No, I’m not making this up.
When asked if his healthcare plan would cover abortion, Mr. Castro, who served as mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, answered, “Yes, it would. I don't believe only in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice.”
“And, you know,” he continued, “What that means is that just because a woman -- or let's also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor, doesn't mean they shouldn't have the right to exercise that right to choose. And so I absolutely would cover the right to have an abortion.”
For those of you confused about what a “trans female” is (and I confess that I’m in that number), a trans woman is “a person who was born male but whose gender identity is female.” In other words, a trans woman is a man who thinks he is a woman.
By logical extension, a Castro Administration would extend the “right to choose” to men who claim to be women. Castro doesn’t specify what the choices would be but I think we can infer that he means they could choose to kill their unborn baby.
The biological conundrum here is that, since they are men, trans women, cannot get pregnant. Considering this scientific truth, Castro may have stumbled upon an expansion of abortion rights that even pro-life conservatives can get behind since it will neither kill any babies nor cost the taxpayers a dime. The rub is in the details. Castro may be so woke that he would support taxpayer funds to help men get pregnant so that they can then exercise their newfound right to an abortion.
Exactly what “reproductive justice” means is unclear. It probably does not involve due process for unborn babies, however.
Castro may have misspoken or been confused about “trans women,” but can we really be sure that he didn’t say exactly what he meant? This writer would not be surprised either way.
Fresh from his expression of support for gender-neutral of abortion rights, Castro moved on to advocate decriminalizing illegal immigration. After attacking President Trump’s metering policy for asylum-seekers, which he blamed for the drowning death of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his two-year-old daughter, Valeria, this week, Castro launched into his policy proposal.
“On day one, I would do that executive order that would address metering,” he said. “And then I would follow that up in my first 100 days with immigration reform that would honor asylum claims, that would put undocumented immigrants, as long as they haven't committed a serious crime, on a pathway to citizenship.”
“And then we'd get to the root cause of the issue, which is we need a Marshall Plan for Honduras and Guatemala and El Salvador so that people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of coming to the United States to seek it,” he continued.
A few seconds later, Castro interrupted Corey Booker’s answer to add to his own, saying, “My plan also includes getting rid of Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, to go back to the way we used to treat this when somebody comes across the border, not to criminalize desperation, to treat that as a civil violation.”
“And here's why it's important,” he said. “We see all of this horrendous family separation. They use that law, Section 1325, to justify under the law separating little children from their families.”
“I want to challenge every single candidate on this stage to support the repeal of Section 1325,” Castro added, noting that Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee have already endorsed the plan.
While Castro’s idea of a Marshall Plan for Latin America has some merit as a way to reduce illegal immigration, repeal of criminal statutes for illegal immigration is a nonstarter. Without a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, repeal would be about as successful as Republican attempts to appeal Obamacare and would only harden partisan divisions by providing evidence that Democrats are an open-borders party. Decriminalization of illegal entry into the United States would send the wrong message and encourage more illegal immigration.
Other Democrats were not so quick to sign on to Castro’s plan. In a subsequent exchange, Beto O’Rourke pushed back at Castro’s demand that he endorse repeal of Section 1325 (you can watch the exchange here).
“As a member of a Congress, I helped to introduce legislation that would ensure that we don't criminalize those who are seeking asylum and refuge in this country,” Beto answered.
“I'm not talking about the ones that are seeking asylum,” Castro retorted, leaving no doubt that he meant migrants who cross the border illegally since it is legal to seek asylum. “I'm talking about everybody else.”
“If you're fleeing desperation, then I want to make sure you are treated with respect,” O’Rourke answered, “But you're looking at just one small part of this. I'm talking about a comprehensive rewrite of our immigration laws and if you do that, I don't think it's asking too much for people to follow our laws when they come to this country.”
Castro then retorted that O’Rourke had cited human trafficking and drug smuggling in his opposition to Section 1325 repeal, which he claimed were covered by other parts of the US criminal code, but the exchange exposed a fault line between the open-border Democrats and those who favor a more liberal version of immigration reform.
In a collection of radicals, it is difficult to stand out, but Julian Castro accomplished that last night. Abortions for men and making Beto O’Rourke defend immigration law put the Texas liberal on the far left of the far left. His extreme positions make it unlikely that he can win the Democratic nomination and less likely that he could win the general election, but if Democrats choose to nominate him, the name “Castro” would at least be reflective of the current ideological direction of the Democratic Party. It would be almost like placing a warning label on the ballot.
Originally published on The Resurgent