- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 1, 2019

Former Obama administration official Julián Castro on Thursday picked up the presidential endorsement of the Latino Victory Fund, an advocacy group that works to increase the political influence of Hispanics.

“He was the first presidential candidate to propose an immigration plan, the first to propose a detailed police reform plan and the first to propose a major policy platform for the Native American community,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the group’s interim president. “His actions make one thing clear: Julián is the resolute leader we need in the Oval Office in January 2021.”

Mr. Castro is the only Latino among the major contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, but polling has shown that Hispanic voters haven’t yet overwhelmingly coalesced around a specific candidate.

At Thursday’s Democratic presidential primary debate, Mr. Castro defended his call to decriminalize illegal border crossings — a stance opposed by candidates like current front-runner Joseph R. Biden.

He also made the case that the Democratic-controlled House should launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying Mr. Trump would claim exoneration on issues tied to Russian interference in the 2016 election if they don’t move forward.

“Conversely, if Mitch McConnell is the one that lets him off the hook, we’re going to be able to say, ‘Well, sure, they impeached him in the House, but his friend, Mitch McConnell, Moscow Mitch, let him off the hook,’ ” he said.

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