Julián Castro's Clash With Joe Biden Over Immigration Was Both Policy-oriented and Personal

WASHINGTON — It looked for a moment like Julián Castro's tactic to insert himself into the heart of the second Democratic presidential debates might not work.The former San Antonio mayor and U.S. housing secretary — echoing his breakout performance in the first round of debates — made clear on Wednesday his position that unauthorized border crossings should not be criminal offenses. Then he challenged his rivals who disagree."'Open borders' is a right-wing talking point," he said, addressing the criticism that his signature proposal would simply encourage more people to enter the U.S. illegally. "And frankly, I'm disappointed that some folks, including some folks on this stage, have taken the bait."But no one fired back at Castro. And the CNN moderators in Detroit didn't press the matter.Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, while disagreeing with the decriminalization plan, instead pivoted to his own plan to address America's broken immigration system. California Sen. Kamala Harris likewise focused on her own ideas. As did New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.Then, as the issue appeared to be fading, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke up."Julián, excuse me, the secretary," he said, referring to their time serving in President Barack Obama's Cabinet. "We sat together in many meetings. I never heard him talk about any of this when he was the secretary."Game on.  Continue reading...

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