Julián Castro, the former secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama and former mayor of San Antonio, has put forth perhaps the most ambitious immigration and police-reform plans in the Democratic primary.
A second-generation immigrant who is widely credited with fostering an economic revival in San Antonio, Castro hopes that his progressive policy record and compelling personal story will set him apart from a large (and growing) Democratic presidential-primary field. I recently spoke with Castro about his immigration and policing plans, what Democrats should do about the Supreme Court, and whether he thinks Donald Trump has committed impeachable offenses, among other subjects.
In our exchange, Castro called for a federal database of police shootings, said that the post-9/11 shift toward treating illegal entry into the United States as a crime has “led to so many of the problems we see today,” and argued that Trump should be impeached, despite opinion polls showing that a majority of the public has yet to support that move.
A transcript of our conversation follows, edited for length and clarity.
You’ve put forth an aggressive plan for eliminating racial discrimination in policing that, among other things, states that it will “establish responsibility and accountability for officers to intervene if they witness a colleague utilizing excessive force or inappropriate conduct.” What does that mean, exactly? Are you talking about a federal law or regulation that would penalize local police officers who ignore misconduct by their colleagues?