Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro dismissed the grievance of a woman victimized by an illegal immigrant on Thursday during a Fox News town hall.
The woman described having her Social Security number stolen by an illegal immigrant.
"He was caught and released on his own recognizance, and never to be heard from again," she told Castro, a former HUD secretary and former mayor of San Antonio.
"My question is, would you be willing to penalize offenders taking advantage of Americans by having them not released if they're known to be illegal?"
Here’s his full answer:
Let me begin to answer that question by saying, look, all of us know as human beings that regardless of circumstance, whether people are rich, or poor, no matter the color of their skin, what their background is, that people commit crime. Crime happens.
I'm very sorry to hear what happened to your Social Security number. I know, you know, how that can be jarring for somebody. Hopefully, that was resolved, OK.
I have said very clearly that if somebody commits a crime like that, that they should be punished for that. It doesn't matter who you are. Whether you're an American citizen, whether you're not an American citizen, whether you're undocumented, if somebody commits that kind of crime, then of course, I believe that that person should be punished.
What I don't believe is that we should be incarcerating these women and children who are fleeing desperate circumstances in those countries and simply are looking for a better life, and then we're keeping them in cages like animals, and keeping these men in 100 degree heat, underneath a bridge, they're fenced in like animals, like a dog pound basically.
I believe that we're better than that as Americans. And so, of course, we need to enforce those laws, whether it's identity theft or it's more serious crimes. I've said that very clearly.
And we need to maintain a border that is secure, right? And we can get better in some ways about border security. You all may remember here in Arizona, a few -- a couple of months ago, we had the largest bust of fentanyl in our nation's history -- 254 pounds of fentanyl.
But that didn't come through the border. It came through one of the ports of entry, one of the checkpoints. Why don't we invest more in ports of entry to catch more drug trafficking and human trafficking that happens there. That's the kind of border security I think that we need to invest more in.