(CNSNews.com) – Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” he’d like to see the limit for taking in refugees raised to its statutory limit of 110,000 people a year.
“You talk about safety and opportunity at home, and you have called for that Marshall Plan for Central America, but what is your limiting principle on allowing people in and giving them asylum? There are wide swathes of the entire world mired in poverty … in areas where there's high crime. Anyone who's facing that kind of poverty, that kind of crime should get asylum?” Stephanopolous asked.
“No, and that's not the system that we have now. We have a system to consider asylum claims based on certain criteria where people either qualify for asylum or they don't. You know, I agree with people that say, look, in theory can we take everyone who would like to be in the United States? Nobody has called for that. I do believe, however, and I’ve put forward an immigration plan that would accept more people,” Castro said.
“I'll give you an example of that, by statute for the late '70s, early '80s, we can take in 110,000 refugees annually. Right now, we're only taking in between 30,000 and 40,000 refugees. I would like to see that go up to the statutory limit. So, nobody has called for unlimited number of people coming to this country, but I do believe that we should expand that significantly, and we're big enough to do that,” he said.
“There have been times in our history in this country where we were taking in a lot more people and we become a stronger nation for it. What has underlined this, and what the president likes to count on, is the fear and the paranoia that he's stoking. I refuse to believe, because it's not true, that the people that are coming because they're desperate, lot of them women and children, represent some sort of national security threat or cultural threat to this country. That's bull,” Castro said.