During a visit to Eastern Iowa on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro escorted a Honduran asylum seeker to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) check-in, helping to get the man’s ankle monitor removed.
The former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development met Jose Reynaldo Robinson Palacios, 33, during a campaign stop at the Iowa City Catholic Worker House. The man, who was forcibly recruited as a child soldier, first fled the Central American country when he was a teenager. According to Robinson, he has lived more years in the U.S. than his birth country. However, he remains at risk of deportation. The man’s requests for asylum have been denied, and his removal order is pending an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
“Jose and his family are simply seeking a better life in this country,” Castro told reporters on Tuesday. “No different from generations of people who have come to this country from different places.”
Following his visit to the homeless shelter and community center, Castro boarded a bus filled with refugees and advocates headed toward an ICE facility in Cedar Rapids. There, he accompanied Robinson during his check-in with immigration officials and helped to get his ankle bracelet taken off. Under the Trump administration, there have been rising cases of immigrants being detained during their required check-ins.
“With the support of the entire community who showed up, we were able to convince ICE to remove José’s ankle bracelet—which he said made him feel like a prisoner,” Castro tweeted.
With the support of the entire community who showed up, we were able to convince ICE to remove José’s ankle bracelet—which he said made him feel like a prisoner.
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) November 12, 2019
Last month, the presidential contender escorted 12 asylum seekers from President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program into the U.S., though they were all sent back south just hours later.
Castro, who didn’t qualify for the Democratic debate in Atlanta next week, has been finding other ways to keep his campaign visible, including introducing new policy proposals. Recently, the Mexican-American candidate made public his People First Disability plan, which aims to advance the rights and opportunities for those living with disabilities in the U.S.