Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro left his position as President Obama’s Housing Secretary two weeks ago, and says the U.S.-Mexico relationship has since reached a crossroads.
"The key to maintaining our sanity over these next four years and also ensuring that we come out on the other end of it a better country--is to adhere to the values that have always defined the United States," said Castro. "And to follow the blueprint that has been set out for the relationship with Mexico."
Castro, a Democrat, says a border wall is not the answer, and he’s confident Americans agree with him. He spoke at St. Mary’s University Friday, as part of a conference celebrating the centennial of the Mexican Constitution.
"It’s fitting that we should mark this occasion in San Antonio, because there’s no major American city where those ties run deeper," Castro said.
Castro said that past presidents including George W. Bush have understood the value of economic and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Mexico. But Trump isn’t like past presidents.
"Of course, there was a phone call recently between President Trump and President Pena-Nieto," Castro said. "That was not encouraging. My hope is that the president will surround himself with good people that understand the relationship. When that doesn’t happen, then you can count on me and a whole host of other people to raise our voice and try and push things in the right direction."
Secretary Castro’s twin brother, Democrat Congressman Joaquin Castro, recently called for Trump to be impeached if he were to repeatedly instruct U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to ignore judicial orders related to the President’s immigration ban.
Castro is back in San Antonio working on his memoir, and says he doesn't plan to run for elected office in the near future.