Castro hits challengers for taking 'the bait' on right-wing immigration talking points

Castro hits challengers for taking 'the bait' on right-wing immigration talking points
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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said other Democratic candidates have "taken the bait" on calling decriminalization of illegal border crossings "open borders."

Asked by CNN's Don LemonDon Carlton LemonAnderson Cooper, Andy Cohen paired for third straight CNN's New Year Eve CNN's Lemon stunned by 'stupid, juvenile' Trump-Thanos meme: 'Are you people insane?' Biden urges senators to have 'courage' for impeachment trial MORE why he disagrees with his former Cabinet colleague Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson on whether it should be a crime to enter the country illegally, Castro said "open borders is a right wing talking point and some people on this stage have taken the bait."

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Castro added that the only way to guarantee family separations won't happen again would be to repeal the statute that makes unauthorized entry a crime.

The Trump administration used that statute as the basis for its zero tolerance border policy, which led to the separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents.

Castro brought Section 1325, the statute in question, into focus at the first Democratic presidential debate and attacked former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeVeronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address Biden calls for revoking key online legal protection Trump mocks Booker over suspended presidential campaign MORE (D-Texas) on the subject.

After that debate, Johnson publicly disagreed with Castro.

The statute dates back to the 1920s, but most recent administrations before Trump did not enforce criminal penalties for first time illegal border crossers.