Warren joins Castro in call to decriminalize illegal border crossings

Warren joins Castro in call to decriminalize illegal border crossings
© Aaron Schwartz

2020 presidential hopeful Julián Castro on Tuesday praised Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Biden leads 2020 Democratic field by 15 points, followed by Sanders and Warren Warren introduces bill to cancel student loan debt for millions Democrats, advocacy groups urge Pompeo to abolish new 'unalienable rights' commission MORE (D-Mass.), a top tier candidate, for joining him in his call to decriminalize illegal border crossings. 

"Thank you, @ewarren, for joining me on this issue. We shouldn’t criminalize desperation—it’s time to repeal this terrible law," Castro tweeted.

Warren has yet to release a comprehensive immigration reform plan, but expressed her support for Castro's plan in a statement to HuffPost. 

“We should not be criminalizing mamas and babies trying to flee violence at home or trying to build a better future. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that is in line with our values, creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants including our DREAMers, and protects our borders," Warren said in a statement to HuffPost.

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Warren told The Washington Post earlier this month that she would seek to repeal criminal penalties for people apprehended while crossing the border.

Sawyer Hackett, a spokesperson for Castro, cited the former Housing and Urban Development secretary's call to repeal the law in April as one reason he is "undeniably a leader on big ideas during this primary." 

"This was an idea championed by immigration activists and experts for some time, but not adopted by mainstream political leaders until Julian CastroJulian CastroPolitician targeted by Puerto Rican governor responds: 'This is an attack on all women' Harris voices support for Puerto Rico protesters: 'I stand with them' Democrats slam Puerto Rico governor over 'shameful' comments, back protesters MORE's People First Immigration platform," Hackett tweeted. 
 
"Every candidate will call for ending family separation, this is the only way to guarantee it," he said.

Castro called for the repeal of Section 1325, the law which makes illegal entry a federal misdemeanor, in April. 

The former San Antonio mayor said the law has been weaponized to target immigrants. 

Warren's reported support for decriminalizing undocumented border crossing follows reports of alleged unsanitary and unsafe conditions at migrant detention centers. 

On Tuesday, it was announced acting Customers and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner John Sanders will be stepping down later this month. 

Updated 4:42 p.m.