Recent actions by Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro at the U.S.-Mexico border are being labeled as a publicity stunt and a photo op designed to call attention to his lagging candidacy.
Castro illegally escorted a dozen LGBTQ and disabled migrants from Mexico across Texas' national border and into the U.S. However, it was reportedly done as merely a publicity stunt protesting President Donald Trump's policy to enforce American immigration law and secure the border from illegal entrants, as each of the 12 illegal border crossers were sent back to Mexico within hours.
"We just heard the terrible news that all 12 of our clients escorted by @JulianCastro were sent back to Mexico. This is of course a mockery of due process," the pro-open-borders Texas Civil Rights Project tweeted Monday. "The 12 asylum seekers [that] our attorneys, advocates and Secretary Julian Castro escorted to the Gateway International Bridge of Matamoros and Brownsville this morning have been sent back into Mexico."
The expedited deportation was made possible by a new policy.
"That action was the result of a new practice by the Trump administration to allow those who want to seek asylum in the United States to apply, but wait outside of the U.S. borders while their situations are evaluated," WND reported.
Last-ditch stunt for publicity?
It appears Castro was not genuinely trying to help the migrants get new residency in the U.S., as this was the dozen's second failed attempt.
"Oh well, Castro got the photo he needed," a Monday Twitchy post reads. "[A]ll of them had tried to cross with a lawyer previously and had been sent back by the Border Patrol."
The pro-immigration Democrat was also called "coyote" – a term used for human traffickers charging migrants money for help across the border – on social media for exploiting migrants.
"Julian Coyote … The blow to the rule of law was an elected representative breaking the law by engaging in human trafficking," Mark Alexander wrote, according to the Twitchy post.
"Julian Castro STILL not indicted for people smuggling," another going by the username, "Exasperated 5," commented. "Indeed, he mocks the law every day he's free."
An article highlighting Castro's entourage said the politician escorted a diverse group of 13 across the U.S. border, but the civil rights group supporting the event confirmed that "all 12" were deported.
"Walking across the bridge with Castro were nine gay and lesbian asylum seekers from Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras, as well as a deaf Salvadoran woman and her three relatives," the Los Angeles Times reported. "More than 50,000 asylum seekers have been sent to Mexico to await the outcome of their U.S. immigration court cases since the Migrant Protection Protocols – known as Remain in Mexico – began in January."
Foreign media also consider pro-immigration activism move by Castro – the former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during the Obama administration – to be a desperate attempt to gain publicity as he settles into last place amongst Democratic primary candidates in his run the White House.
"The stunt by Castro … was executed to illustrate his opposition to a policy barring migrants who seek asylum from staying in the United States before their court dates, dubbed the 'Remain in Mexico' policy," Britains' Daily Wire contended. "Border Patrol responded to the display by following the law, returning the migrants Castro used as props back to Mexico by 5 p.m. local time."
Besides the dozen migrants being previously deported under similar circumstances, Castro's attempt of defiance against Trump was already performed by two of his fellow contenders for the 2020 Democratic ticket.
"Last June, former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas met with migrants returned to Mexico at a shelter in Juarez," the Daily Wire recalled. "Days later, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker accompanied five pregnant women across the bridge from Juarez to El Paso."
Queer remark, LGBTQ advocacy
In lieu of Castro's latest pro-LGBTQ activism, his odd attack on Trump's LGBTQ and abortion policies waged during a Democratic presidential primary debate in June resurfaced.
"Let's also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor, doesn't mean they shouldn't have the right to exercise that right to choose," he said while arguing for the "right" to abortion for LGBTQ individuals.
The lack of logic behind the argument was subsequently pointed out.
"Of course, biological men, or transgender females, cannot have children, so it's unclear why they would need abortion 'rights,'" the Daily Wire's Amanda Prestigiacomo explained.
Regardless, a 22-year-old lesbian going by the name "Dany," who fled communist Cuba with her same-sex partner, was part of the dozen Castro used in his display against Trump.
"Ten years in detention is better than a day here," Dany said, according to the Times. "[I'm joining Castro on the bridge to show Americans] how they're breaking the law here. 'Remain in Mexico' [was a] trick by Donald Trump. The U.S. doesn't want any migrants."
Castro's trip to the border was complete with another photo op to draw compassion for migrants.
"Julián Castro places flowers on the wooden markers of those who have died while trying to cross the Rio Grande," one photo caption reads in the Times story.