tv Road to the White House 2020 LULAC Presidential Candidates Forum CSPAN July 13, 2019 4:59pm-5:26pm EDT
, one of several canvassing event his campaign has held in the state today. the senator were hold similar events tomorrow in plymouth and pelham. also in new hampshire on sunday, senator kamala harris campaigns. live coverage starting at 1:15 eastern time. you can also watch online or listen our free radio app. until senator booker arrives m held recently by the league of united latin american citizens. [applause] >> a quick heads up before we get started.
minutes for an introductory round to talk to the audience and then we will get to questions. i am going to try to do the questions first in spanish and then in english, because we are live on univision. [speaking spanish] >> it is great to see you all here in milwaukee. [applause] mr. castro: i am julian. i have a one brother, joaquin, who says that you can tell us apart because i am one minute uglier than he is. a few days ago we had our first presidential debate, and i said i was happy to be there, and that my presence on the stage marked some of the tremendous progress we have made as a
latino community. and the question before us in the next few months is, what kind of country do we want to become? i'm able to stand on this stage and so many of you have been able to do the work you have done and achieve the dreams you have dreamed because generations have worked for progress in this country to make sure, no matter the color of your skin, you can get a decent education, that when you look for an apartment rent or the home to buy, that you wouldn't be discriminated against, making sure you could get good job opportunities, and that you could exercise your right to vote at the ballot box. the question before us is whether we are going to continue to be that country that expands opportunity to people, no matter who they are, what they look like, how much money they have our don't have, how long they have been in our country, what their last name is, or are we
going to go backward and become a nation where opportunity is only afforded to those who look a certain way, live a certain way, sound a certain way? i believe in an america that is broad, expansive, full of opportunities for hard-working americans all over our country. i know so many in this room have made that kind of progress possible. thank you so much for the work you have been doing as part of lulac to make a stronger america for all of us. i look forward to a conversation about how we can make our country even stronger, and ensure that all the folks whose shoulders we stand on, we do right by, by passing that onto the next generation in a country that is better than before. thank you. : thank you.
[applause] now we get to talk in front of a lulac audience. quickly, show of hands, how many in the audience have ever been told to focus on speaking english or not speaking spanish at all? [speaking spanish] that is probably around half of the audience here. you explained that yourself in an interview recently with us and also cbs. [speaking spanish]
how do you celebrate the spanish and american languages but still get across that latino political leverage is about more than language? mr. castro: i've been asked a lot on the campaign trail about spanish, and i tell people that i understand spanish pretty well but that i am not fluent, i can speak some, and one thing i tried to explain, especially to the mainstream media, was that i grew up in texas. my grandmother got here in 1922, and when my grandmother got here, there were still steins -- there were still signs on storefronts that said, no mexicans or dogs allowed. of the reasons lulac was formed in 1929, to make sure the latino community could have support amongst each other, amongst families, and to
push for equal rights. and one thing that happened during that time is that spanish was looked down upon, that you would be punished in a lot of the public schools, and even some catholic schools, if you spoke spanish in class. werevery real way, they trying to beat the spanish out of you. and maybe the saddest part of that is that in a lot of our families, people started looking down on speaking the spanish language and wanted to teach their children english first. people in the audience will remember those generations. proud ofe things i am about our country today is that we live in a country where understanding spanish and speaking it, or another second language, is celebrated. my daughter goes to a bilingual program and is learning spanish, and that is a wonderful thing, it is a marker of the progress we have made as a nation. in terms of being a latino
candidate, your ability to speak spanish is important to connect with the community. it is one part of that. there are so many other things. there is your life experience, culturally there is also where you stand on issues, whether your positions on issues are going to do something for the latino community or not. host: let's talk about some of those issues, your proposals on immigration. [speaking spanish] the former dhs secretary jeh johnson called some of your immigration proposal extreme -- proposals extreme and unworkable. how do you react? mr. castro: it is obviously not friendly. [applause] i would say secretary johnson is
president biden is wrong on this, and congressman o'rourke is wrong on this. let me tell you why. from the late 1920's, around the time lulac was formed, until 2004, we treated crossing the border as a civil violation, not a criminal violation. so for years and years, generations, we did not treat that as a criminal violation. it startedst 9/11, being treated as a crime. and after it started being treated as a crime, a lot of the problems we are seeing today exploded. i have called for the repeal of section 1325 from the immigration and nationality act, to guarantee [applause] that and administration cannot
separate apparent from their child. it.n't abide buy i won't stand for it. we are not going to do it. [applause] suggestedjohnson people would take that as open borders. open borders is a right wing talking point. we have thousands of personnel at the border, planes, helicopters, boats, guns, security cameras. we still have civil courts if somebody crosses the border. we have an asylum process. the folks who live along the border also know that a lot of the folks coming today are presenting themselves at the border. they are not trying to go anywhere. they want to present themselves to our border officials. make makes no sense to policy based out of fear, political fear. [applause] i am not going to make policy
based out of fear, i'm going to make policy to stand up for people that need a voice right now, and we have children make separated from their parents, some of them don't have soap or toothbrushes, they are crowded to beens, they are going traumatized, many of them, for the rest of their lives. and i have set i am not going to do that, i am going to work hard to make sure no future administration can weaponize that law in order to do what donald trump has done. [speaking spanish] president trump says conditions and some of the detention centers are better than in their home countries. what would you say? mr. castro: people coming here from el salvador or honduras or guatemala are no different from the irish who fled famine before. [applause] they are no different from people who came from germany or poland or italy or folks who
came from cuba in the early 1960's. everybody was fleeing desperate circumstances. that is the common denominator. and they have just as much to add to this country as generations of immigrants have before. , one of thesay things that distinguishes what i have put forward is that i am actually talking about solving this challenge. we need to do a 21st century marshall plan for central america, to partner with those countries so people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to come to the united states. [applause] that is the long-term waita solve this challenge. host: [speaking spanish]
it was announced this week that the university in austin is offering scholarships to families of children who make less than $65,000 a year. should other college take ut's lead? mr. castro: yes. i've been blessed to go to public schools in texas and get a higher education that has allowed me to provide for my family and have the career success that i have had. i want to make sure that kind of opportunity is available to everybody. one thing we need to do is get tuition-free public state universities, committed to college, job training and certification programs. people watching will remember it wasn't long ago that the university of texas system was almost tuition free, and the university of california system, until the late 1970's or early 1980's, actually was tuition free.
and a bunch of other state university systems a generation tuitiongo were free. today it is more imperative than ever we make that investment. requireuire m -- more knowledge and skills than ever before. our kids may need to get that higher education. it is not always a four-year degree, sometimes it is job training or certification program, but they need something beyond high school so they can get gainful employment. that is why we need to make that investment. i like what ut austin is doing but i would take that even further, to make sure higher education is accessible to everybody. much.thank you very [speaking spanish] >> thank you very much. now it is time to hear from the family of lulac. we have questions from members from all over america.
we have screened them and you have some of those guests tonight, who will be asking you, mr. secretary, some of these same questions. i would like to invite up someone who is a green card for veteran from illinois, also a bronze star recipient. with him is carlos luna, who is holding a helmet in hand, and we now have in the audience to lines of veterans standing before you. what is the significance of the helmet that the men and women here? >> this war-torn helmet is here to symbolize our brothers and sisters who have protected our country, even when our country hasn't protected them. our members here from green card veterans are standing at attention and standing in solidarity with our deported brothers and sisters who have been deported, showing we are ready to do whatever it takes to help get them back. mr.he question is,
secretary, will you commit up on to be president, to have those individuals who have served this country bravely he from their exile? mr. castro: yes, i will. thank you very much for your service, to each and every one of you who stepped up out of your patriotism and served our country very honorably. we appreciate your service on the sacrifice you and your families made. [applause] voiceso appreciate the you are using on behalf of veterans who have been deported, which is shameful. in my people first immigration plan that i released on april 2, one of the things i call for is to immediately and sure veterans who have been deported can come back into the united states and pursue citizenship in the united states, because they served our
country honorably. [applause] they did their duty for our country and we'll them a debt of gratitude. the last thing we should do is see them deported away from their family and unable to enjoy the fruits of their labor in defending this country. >> our next question is from isabelle ramirez, a lulac member from illinois. teacher shortage that is growing nationwide, especially in poverty areas. what is your plan to improve the unequal distribution of highly qualified teachers, and more important, help motivate individuals to seek a career in education? mr. castro: thank you very much for the question. thank you to all of the teachers in our audience and those that are watching. [applause] father was a public school teacher for 31 years and my wife has been a public school
educator for the last 15 years. my brother and i are proud products of the public schools, so i know the value of great teachers. i released an education plan a few weeks ago and one thing i called for is to increase teacher pay. [applause] that in part through a tax credit that would range and would to $10,000, get higher on a sliding scale based on the percentage of students on free or reduced lunch. in other words, we would incentivize teachers to go into those areas that are the most impoverished, oftentimes the most struggling schools, in our pursue theiro careers there. we would also ensure that we get more teachers into the pipeline by investing in tuition-free public state universities, community colleges and job training programs, and invest
more money in teacher recruitment and retention. we have a lot of great people that go into the teaching profession, but after one or two years they leave. they get frustrated or they are not sure if it is for them. and that is especially true in some of the toughest school districts in the united states. i would invest in teacher recruitment and training to help them succeed professionally, and be able to stay and do a good job at those schools they are in. part of my experience and part of why i propose that is that, after college and before law oldol, i went back to my high school, thomas jefferson high school in san antonio, texas, and i was a permanent substitute teacher. i had one class that had 37 people, another had 38 old high and another had 39. i knew right away that i knew very little about how to teach effectively, and i gained a
tremendous much of respect for what it takes to be a good teacher. i knew it is not as simple as just walking into the classroom and talking, that it is a craft that takes skill, patience, understanding, oftentimes you are not only a teacher, you turn into a counselor. so we need to invest in those teachers at the beginning, to recruit them and retrain -- to recruit them and retain them, and to pay them what they deserve. [applause] >> thank you. our next question comes from deborah from milwaukee, wisconsin. deborah has this question for you, please. >> hello, and as a teacher, thank you very much for your comments. if elected, what will you do to reduce gun violence, and how do you plan to accomplish it working with republicans in congress? thank you very much,
deborah, for the question and for your activism and the activism of moms demand. you have inspired so many people across the country, as the parkland students have as well. i believe in commonsense gun reform, that we need universal background checks, that we need to limit the capacity of magazines. we need a renewed assault weapons ban. pass red-flag laws so we are able to stop folks from getting a gun who should never get it in the first lace. close loopholes like the boyfriend lupo and the charleston loophole -- the boyfriend loophole and the and we needoophole, to end this distinction between physical health care and mental health care, so that we invest in mental health care in our country. [applause]
things wee of the talk about is that a lot of of,le who died because especially a handgun, died by suicide. too many people suffer in silence with bipolar disorder or depression or something else spiraledt they downward in silence until they take their own life. we have a role in connecting these dots with our health care system to make sure we are investing in coverage for mental health care in a productive way, and eliminating the stigma that too often goes with mental health issues. by doing that, i believe that will have a positive impact on reducing gun violence when it comes to death by suicide. do things like smart, targeted gun buybacks and communities. so across-the-board, we can make our country safer. >> we have one more question
from mary from racine, wisconsin. you propose to do about the student loan borrowers who are still struggling to pay off loans? i have heard of student loan forgiveness programs, but want to know how the program you initiate would work. for example, if you propose paying off 75% of the loans, would unsubsidized portions be paid off first, and with the remaining 25% to pay, would income based retirement plans be used to pay for it? castro: go to my website and check out my education plan that includes student loan debt relief. it's a huge problem in our country and saddles students with that that prevents them from buying a home, starting a family. my plan addresses that. the way it works is that if you make less than 250 percent of
federal poverty level, the repayment is zero. if you make over that, it is scaled off, but the most you would have to repay would be 10% of your income, and the total amount you would have to pay would be capped. interest would be capped as well . go to juliancastro.com and check out my full plan. [speaking spanish] [applause] thank you, very much. [speaking spanish] in one year we are going to have the democratic national convention in milwaukee. the candidate for the party will be receiving the nomination in a year. castro: thank you for having me here, thanks to lulac, thanks also to my fellow texans.
thank you for being here. [applause] this election is all about what we want our nation to become in the years ahead. i want you to know that if you elect me president, that i will work hard every single day to make sure your children and grandchildren can get a good education because they have a strong partner in washington that will work hard with states and local school districts to make sure that education works for everybody in this country. i will work hard to ensure you and your family can have good health care when you need it, that we have universal health care, so matter how much money you make or don't make, where you live or what your background is, you can get health care in the medication that you need when you need it, and that you can have good job opportunities, whether you live in a big city or a small town, so that you can get gainful employment and provide for your family, and
that no matter what the color of your skin is, what your sexual orientation is, how you identify, whether you are a man or a woman, that you can reach your dreams in this country. my grandmother came here when she was seven years old, from mexico, and she worked as a maid and a and babysitter because she never finished elementary school. mom mom raised my brother and me as a single parent, and two generations after my grandmother got here with almost nothing, one of her grandsons is now the congressman for the city that she came to, san antonio, and the other one is here asking for your support to be president of the united states. [applause] that is the greatness of the united states of america, and i ask for your support in the year ahead, and with your support, on january 20, 2021, we are going to say adios to donald trump. [applause]
[speaking spanish] lulac candidates forum that we have left now will lead us to senator cory booker, , newing in exeter hampshire, where he will be shortly meeting with supporters. this is live road to the white house coverage on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] hello, exeter. thank you for being here. first and foremost, we have to thank our amazing hosts, sue and tom fitzgerald. give them a hand. [applause] i'm grateful to you all for being here. my name is briand a murphy, i'm the seacoast oiz
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