Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro told Powerhouse Politics podcast hosts, ABC News’ Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House and Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl, that the crisis which President Donald Trump described Tuesday night as one of the "heart and soul," is really a crisis of a different nature — one of "chaos."
"There is a humanitarian crisis, but otherwise there’s no crisis of chaos. There’s no crisis of a bunch of people coming in to pillage people," Castro said.
Castro, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, led a Democratic delegation to visit a Border Patrol facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Monday to investigate the death of 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo. Felipe, who died on Christmas Eve, was the second child to die in December under U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody.
Castro’s visit was just days ahead of Trump’s trip to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday. Castro said he’s glad Trump is going to visit the border to "see for himself what’s going on there."
"Even the Republicans in those border towns, even the conservative folks in those border towns will tell him that there is no crisis there at the border except for a humanitarian one," Castro said.
"We do have a humanitarian crisis at the border. But that's very different from the language and the political arguments that the president is using — scare tactics, fear mongering, scapegoating — to try to justify building a wall that... most Americans do not want. Most Texans do not want," Castro said. "And from my district, even more people don't want it. So we're talking about two different things."
While the president’s speech on immigration touted women and children as "the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system," the President also cited instances of undocumented immigrants committing gruesome crimes. Castro refuted Trump’s characterization of people’s motives for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
"It's not millions of people coming over here to try to rape and kill and hurt Americans. That is exactly the wrong kind of language to be using and it's the language that has led us into the worst chapters of American history and the worst chapters in world history," Castro said.
While Castro said he’s currently focused on his work in the House, he didn’t rule out the possibility of running for Senate in the future. Castro’s identical twin brother, Julián Castro, is expected to make an announcement about a 2020 presidential run on Jan. 12.
"No plans for that right now," Castro said.
Every Wednesday, ABC Radio and iTunes bring you the Powerhouse Politics Podcast which includes headliner interviews and in-depth looks at the people and events shaping U.S. politics. Hosted by ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and ABC News Political Director Rick Klein.