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News Release

Julián Castro for President 2020

Last night, at the CNN Democratic debate in Detroit, presidential candidate, former Obama Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Julián Castro’s policy leadership dominated the discussion between candidates in the first debate, including his plan to reform our immigration system and decriminalize border crossings, eliminate lead exposure, implement universal pre-K, and support a study on reparations for the descendents of African slaves.

The following are among the key issues in which Secretary Castro has led the field that dominated discussion in the first night of Democratic debates. Secretary Castro will join nine other candidates for the second night of Democratic debates on Wednesday at 8:00 PM EST in Detroit, Michigan.

Immigration Platform

Secretary Castro led the field in unveiling a bold and comprehensive immigration policy that included rescinding Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and treating entry into the United States as a civil rather than a criminal violation. This measure created the pathway for many of the most egregious Trump administration immigration practices including family separation.

Ten Democratic presidential candidates have since joined Secretary Castro in calling for the repeal of the provision, a central component of his ‘People First Immigration’ plan.

The repeal of Section 1325 would alter how the federal government views migrants entering the United States, treating them as people and families in search of a better life who can contribute tremendously to the fabric of our nation and economy instead of a threat to our national security.

Secretary Castro’s immigration reform plan includes creating a more just and compassionate border policy and establishing a 21st century Marshall Plan for Central America to re-engage our Latin American partners and address the root causes of migration.

Following its release, Secretary Castro’s comprehensive plan was widely praised by activists, journalists, policy experts, and voters.

Lead Platform

Secretary Castro was the first 2020 candidate to visit Flint, the location of the infamous public health emergency stemming from a major lead contamination in the local water supply.

Secretary Castro’s plan aims to eliminate lead exposure and poisoning as a major health threat by significantly increasing resources to identify and remediate lead hazards, ensuring local, state, and federal governments are able to respond to any future lead emergency, strengthening lead poison prevention efforts and providing increased resources for families already impacted by lead poisoning.


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Secretary Castro has called for reparations for the descendants of slaves.

Secretary Castro supports legislation by fellow Texas Democrat Rep. Sheila Lee Jackson to have a commission craft a reparations plan. Additionally, a commission or task force would be created to look into all possible ways to provide reparations and determine the best course of action.

America has never fully addressed the sin of slavery - and because of this America has never truly healed as a country. It is time to move our country forward and help it to heal.


Secretary Castro’s People First Education Plan would make a new commitment by the federal government to see that every student has access to a quality education — from pre-K through college and beyond.

The People First Education Plan aims to close the pre-K access gap, making high-quality preschool universal for three-and four-year-olds across the United States through a nationwide ‘Pre-K for USA’ program. Additionally, the plan focuses on expanding opportunities for students, creating affordable pathways to success after high school, and supporting teachers, including increase in pay.

About Secretary Julián Castro

Julián Castro served as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014-2017. Before that, he was Mayor of his native San Antonio, Texas — the youngest mayor of a Top 50 American city at the time. 

In 2012, he gave a rousing keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, during which he described the American Dream as a relay to be passed from generation to generation. In 2018, Castro founded Opportunity First, an organization to invest in the next generation of progressive leaders. In October 2018, Little, Brown published Castro’s memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream.

On January 12, 2019, Secretary Castro announced his candidacy for President of the United States. 

Follow Julián Castro on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. and

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