Julian Castro vs Dan Patrick Debate Immigration
by Sonja Harris on April 17, 2014 at 4:11 PM
April 15, 2014
Univision may have just as well billed this debate Man-Child vs Adult debate instead of Cara A Cara, Face to Face. I was one of the very few Conservatives invited to the live broadcast at the studio. Curiosity about how very liberal Mayor Julian Castro would debate very conservative Senator Dan Patrick, candidate for Texas Lt Governor was foremost in many Texans mind. According to Univision the only thing that each agreed on was the fact that our immigration system is broken. After listening to the debate there were other matters they agreed on. The really feisty part of the debate came during the last 15 minutes when Citizenship and Pro Life entered the conversation.
The debate began in a rather friendly manner as would be expected since San Antonio is known for its welcoming style. Evan Smith, CEO and Editor in Chief from the Texas Tribune, opened by asking what each man hoped to achieve by participating in the debate. Smith started the conversation by saying to Senator Patrick, “One might say, I might say that your job tonight is to come across as tough without seeming to be too much of a hard-line, too extreme on immigration, border security and related issues and in doing so possibly put off some of the very Latinos in the state of Texas who you might be trying to attract to your party in elections this fall.”
Smith than turned and faced the Mayor and said, “I would suggest that your job tonight might be to be compassionate without seeming to be too soft, without giving a free pass to people who are here in Texas and around the country unlawfully, without seeming to be too weak, without putting the economic and homeland security of this country at risk.”
Smith then asked, "In this political climate, is it possible to be tough without being extreme and is it possible to be compassionate without being weak?" The debate took off from here.
Patrick was the first to speak and confirmed that he was not anti immigration rather anti illegal immigration. Castro fired back with, “You have been part of the problem…huffing and puffing like a big bad wolf and now you are dancing around like a Little Red Riding Hood." This childish attack came back again later in the discussion, adding a reference to Cinderella. At this point I was wondering if Castro was aware that he was in a grown up debate with an adult audience.
They both agreed that America is a nation of immigrants and while Castro is willing to sacrifice Americans for Mexican citizens, Patrick is not. He will stand with the American Texan. Patrick also believes that we have a responsibility to secure the border for safety and that the exploitation of the people coming across the border is not right. He again confirmed that he wants to be welcoming to the legal immigrants.
Castro continued his attack by stating that “He (Patrick) was wrong for Texas.” Patrick shot back with “Our policies are right for Texas.” Castro brought out that Patrick had 8 years ago mentioned that the illegals were bringing in Leprosy. Patrick replied that that information had come straight from a Center for Disease Control report and that between 2010 and 2012 leprosy cases had increased from 137 to 168. He also pointed out that TB cases were on the rise. Folks let’s be real here. This was a curious attack by Castro since syphilis is raging in Bexar County. Castro has no idea what diseases are in San Antonio much less in Texas. There is a continuing rise in syphilis in Bexar County and is being handled as an epidemic by the Bexar County Metro Health District. Castro has no idea how that is being transmitted. He is clueless to the fact that the Non Discrimination Ordinance he was instrumental in passing may be a contributing factor.
Either Castro is a fool or he tried to dupe Patrick and the viewing audience by challenging Patrick’s statistics on the criminal element brought in by ‘hardened criminal’ illegals. Interesting enough, a reporter from the Express News, Peggy Fikac, came through with the statement on the Department of Public Safety report.
Another crime-related public safety concern exists from criminal aliens, who may not be affiliated with the cartels and gangs but act alone to commit crime in Texas. From October 2008 to December 2012, Texas identified a total of 141,982 unique criminal alien defendants booked into Texas county jails. These individuals, identified through the Secure Communities Initiative, are responsible for at least 447,844 individual criminal charges over their criminal careers, including 2,032 homicides and 5,048 sexual assaults.
Patrick’s stats still reflect the reality that Texas is experiencing criminal activity due to ‘criminal aliens’. Patrick directly told Castro that it is the responsibility of the mayor to protect the citizens of San Antonio, which in fact it appears he is lax in doing.
What the two disagreed most on was In-State tuition and a path to citizenship. Patrick stated that, “I will lead to repeal In-State tuition.” He also believes that ‘legal status’ is OK. Patrick made it clear that deportation is out of the question and that he does favor a guest worker program sequential to a secured border. “We believe in the rule of law,” Patrick reaffirmed and that regardless of ethnicity or legal status children in trouble, seniors in trouble, military in trouble and disabled in trouble would always receive support.
The best part of the discussion was during the last 15 minutes or so when it became heated over immigration bills and who supported what bills. Patrick made it clear that attaching citizenship to any bill would cause the bill to fail. Castro made remarks about Republicans being unified on immigration and he called out to Louis Barrios sitting in the studio audience a ‘supposedly’ Republican and used him as his new Blue Flag to wave in front of Republicans. Barrios is a San Antonio restaurateur who held a fundraiser for Democrat Lt Gov hopeful Leticia Van de Putte.
Patrick: I believe that people should come to America in dignity, I believe in the sanctity of life; I believe in school choice, I believe in opportunity for Hispanics, I am not in favor of driving people out of the country; I just want Washington to act, mayor. I want them to pass robust legal immigration, so that they can be proud to be here and not live in the shadows.
Castro: Patrick you are not only out of step with Democrats but with your own party.
Patrick: When you talk about being out of step and you are not worried about losing Hispanic voters…let me tell you what folks…
You (Castro) are out of step. If you think that Pro Life Catholics and Evangelical Hispanics are going to support a party that celebrates when they kill a bill that would save a baby’s life at five months, if you think that they are going to vote for your party? In fact, your party would never even allow a Pro Life Hispanic or Pro Life African American or a Pro Life Anglo candidate to speak at your convention if they are Pro Life. People who are Pro Life have no room in your party, they are not allowed. People who believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman are not allowed in your party.
Castro: Senator, We are here to talk about immigration
Patrick: Which party best represents…
Castro: You are extreme even in your own party and you are out of step even with your own Republican Party….
Castro became very annoyed when Patrick mentioned Hispanics and Pro Life in the same sentence. Seeing Castro so annoyed…priceless! Funny Castro should call Patrick extreme when Castro supports killing the unborn and supports illegals over Americans. It was great watching the interaction between Castro and Patrick especially when Patrick took charge of the debate with his citizenship and Pro Life remarks.
The immigration debate is a complicated one because after securing the border, allowing a guest worker program and making sure we don’t deport people enmasse which most Americans agree on, the rest of the issues are problematic affecting many different segments of our society. Drivers’ licenses, legal status, path to citizenship, amnesty, deportation, and of course In-State tuition are but a few of the parts of a broken immigration system that need to be addressed. In-State tuition is by far one of the stickiest issues that will face Texans in the upcoming legislative session and Texas lawmakers will have to choose between educating illegal immigrant students or allowing them to fall through the cracks.
Video: Patrick, Castro Face Off Over Immigration Issues
As part of Senator Patrick’s group we were invited to join Patrick and his staff at the Cattleman’s Restaurant to celebrate his victory in the debate. We should be proud that Patrick was able to stand and challenge the man-child who can only mimic the Obama policies without ever giving them any thought. Much has been said and written about this ‘historic’ event and I am glad to say, I was there and I watched and I listened.