The msnbc original series ”Generation to Generation” takes a side-by-side look at the work of civil rights leaders from the 1960s and their modern-day counterparts. This week, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro and Henry Cisneros, former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), were featured. Take a look at their interview and segment on The Reid Report, here.
Castro’s identical twin is Julián Castro. The Castro brothers connection with Cisneros runs deep. Like Cisneros, Julián Castro was the mayor of San Antonio. He will soon also serve as the secretary of HUD. The Castros’ mother, a respected activist in San Antonio, was involved in voter registration efforts in Texas during the ’60s and ’70s, when Cisneros became active in the city council. Cisneros has paved the way for the rising political stars and helped them navigate their leadership roles.
Rep. Castro answered questions from the msnbc.com community thread – see his responses below.
Aaron81: How excited are you about your brother Julian being the new secretary of HUD?
Rep. Castro: I think Julian will do a great job! There’s lots of work to be done to combat homelessness, improve the nation’s lending system and make homeownership more accessible for Americans. I’m proud of Julian and excited for our country.
Christopher Lara-Cruz: Rep. Joaquin Castro, when will elected officials start talking to each other instead of at each other? To actually work together, govern, compromise for the betterment of the people and not the 1%?
Rep. Castro: Christopher, it’s been a tough term in Congress. I agree that Congress needs to do more work, pass more legislation that’s important to the wellbeing of the country. Unfortunately, major jobs bills have been stalled in Congress. Thankfully, the economy has continued to bounce back. However, the recovery has been uneven. The stock market is at an all-time high but people in the middle and working classes are still recovering. Congress has been sitting on the bench as spectators for far too long. I am hopeful that we will soon be able to come together to tackle not just the humanitarian crisis at the border, but also ensure that students have access to quality education, more folks get affordable healthcare coverage, and that we put more Americans back to work.
ladyhawke: How will these immigrants survive here? How will they be provided for with whose tax dollars? None I was told speak English so how do we address this problem? There’s a lot to be reckon[ed] with here… we [have] enough problems here now with our own kids, not that I am against them being here, but it seems like others are against them period.
Rep. Castro: The children’s well-being and treatment is priority after their long and often traumatic journey here. As Americans we should ensure that folks, especially children, are treated humanely and how we’d expect for Americans to be treated elsewhere. As a child is processed through the system agencies have different responsibilities for their supervision, some through the use of translators. During this 72 hour period, kids receive medical screenings, inoculations and are examined for infectious diseases to ensure transmission of diseases is not a factor. CBP will also question their arrival in the U.S. – asylum, trafficking cases are handled accordingly. Once a site is located for the youth, ICE transports the youth from CBP facilities to HHS shelters, where these children are placed under supervision until they are proceedings for removal or asylum. These children are fleeing violence and gangs and some cases their own death, so it is my hope that we treat these children with humane legislative action and compassion as a society.
Keep up with Rep. Castro on Twitter @JoaquinCastroTX.