Presidential hopeful Julian Castro called the crisis at the United States's southern border "B.S." during a Wednesday interview on CNN's New Day.
Castro's comment came during a discussion his newly released immigration reform plan, as well as President Donald Trump's administration's handling of the flood of people crossing into the United States through Mexico.
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"I don't believe their narrative," Castro said. "I don't believe the B.S. that women and children who are fleeing dangerous circumstances present a national security threat to this country."
Castro's immigration reform plan includes downgrading illegal immigration from a misdemeanor to a civil violation, restoring aid to Central American countries, ceasing border wall construction, and the raising of immigration quotas. He is the first Democratic 2020 contender to release a specific plan.
Trump announced last week that he may close the border if need be, and has doubled down on the claim frequently throughout this week.
"We're going to have a strong border or we're going to have a closed border," Trump said, according to a report from Fox News. "We're going to see what happens."
Reports of a crisis at the border have continued to pour in this week, including from CNN's Chris Cuomo, who acknowledged the crisis after visiting the border on Monday.
"The numbers tell you the story. There are believed to be more crossings in just the last month here than any month in over a decade," Cuomo said. "As I sad, here in Hidalgo, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, this is the hot spot. Right behind us is Mexico. It's actually this weird area where Mexico is actually north of Texas, the way the land bends around. The authorities say they have never faced the combination of threats, challenges, and federal inaction that they are facing right now."
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in a Tuesday interview on Tucker Carlson Tonight that DHS is considering using military force to secure the border.
"I think we're looking into that. We've made the request," she said. "I'm in constant contact with the acting secretary of defense. I talked to some of the combatant commanders today. We are in fact pushing more and more military resources to the border."