Julián Castro meets with Latino journalists to talk campaign issues

Presidential candidate and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro met with a group of Latinos journalists from across the country Thursday at the San Antonio Express-News to talk about campaign issues.

Here are four key takeaways:

On immigration

Castro expressed frustration that the Trump Administration insists on building a wall to protect the open borders despite the fact that there are already 654 miles of fencing between Mexico and the United States.

“We have thousands of personnel at the border,” Castro said. “We have planes, boats (and) security cameras.”

Castro said the current administration targets the immigrant community, empowering people to discriminate against them.

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development said he’s met Republicans who are rejecting Trump’s ideas.

“They can’t stand what he stands for,” he said. “The cruelty toward people. The nastiness. The divisiveness.”

Castro said Latinos are abused by employers —  especially workers who do hard physical work like agriculture labor —  hanging their immigration status over their head to avoid paying them appropriate wages.

“We know that there have been attempts to have other folks do that labor and they can’t.” 

On health care

Julián Castro’s vision for healthcare is a Medicare-based system with the option for a private health insurance. He agrees with the popular opinion that the Trump Administration destroyed the Affordable Care Act. 

Castro believes everyone in the country should have healthcare. 

Undocumented immigrants are “human beings too,” Castro said.

Castro wants more preventative care for people so they can seek treatment before they have to go straight to the emergency room.

Castro believes there needs to be an end in the distinction between physical and mental healthcare. 

“You’re more likely to be able to get mental healthcare in a correctional facility or perhaps in an education setting than you are if you are a regular person or unemployed.”

On Latinos in journalism

Castro emphasized the need for more Latinos in journalism, especially in management positions where decisions are made.

A staff diversity report from National Public Radio in 2018 revealed only 8% Latinos on staff versus 73% white employees within that news organization.

On education

Castro plans to push his agenda for free education. This includes universal pre-k and certification programs. 

He said he doesn’t want parents to worry about paying for their children’s education.

This story was written by Breybinda Zurisaday Alvarez. Abigail Rae Arredondo took photos, and Patsy Montesinos shot video.

Breybinda Zurisaday Alvarez is a second-year graduate student at the University of Arkansas, studying journalism. Breybinda has interned for a Spanish-language newspaper, La Prensa Libre in Springdale, Arkansas. Reach her at brey2412@gmail.com and on Twitter at @breybinda.

Abigail Rae Arredondo is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin and will be graduating in December with an emphasis in broadcast journalism. She is part of the UT Austin student-run television news station, TSTV News, contributing to their talent and production team. Her professional experience includes a summer internship with KVUE News working on digital web content. Currently she interns with KXAN Studio 512. Reach her at abigailarredondo4@gmail.com and on Twitter at @abigailrae04.

Patsy Montesinos is a 2019 NAHJ Student Project participant. She is a senior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she is studying journalism with an emphasis on Spanish-language broadcast. She spent her summer in Colombia producing a documentary about Afro-Colombians. Reach her at pmontes2@live.unc.edu and on Twitter at @montesinospatsy.

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