Mayor Julian Castro preps for debate with Sen. Dan Patrick

Political foes to face off on border security, immigration


After months of exchanging jabs over social media San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick will have their debate on border security and immigration on Tuesday in San Antonio.

Castro took issue with Patrick's views on illegal immigrants during his primary campaign to be the GOP's nominee for lieutenant governor.

"Dan Patrick would take the state of Texas in a radically different direction on the issue of immigration," Castro said.

About the only thing Castro and Patrick agree on when it comes to immigration and border security is the fact that the current system is broken.

The political foes have vastly different ideas on how to fix it and now they will finally debate those ideas face-to-face.

"The fact is that Texas has prospered economically because, whether we've had Republican leaders or Democratic leaders, they have always taken a reasonable approach to immigration," Castro said.

Castro fears, if elected lieutenant governor, Patrick would take a much different approach.

Appalled by his remarks on the campaign trail leading up to the primary election last month, Castro began calling Patrick out on Twitter, at one point congratulating him on "being the most anti-immigrant Republican running for state office."

"He's talked about immigrants bringing third world diseases to Texas, he's tried to kill the Texas Dream Act, he's talked about an illegal invasion from Mexico, that's not the kind of  leadership we've had whether Republican or Democrat in Texas," Castro said. "I don't normally make it a habit to go calling out other candidates running for office, especially when I'm not running for anything but every once in a while there comes a person who is so extreme on an issue and who's good at demagoguing, that I believe people need to know about it especially because he would take Texas in a very different direction."

While the debate could give Patrick some good momentum leading up to next month's runoff election against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, one has to wonder what Castro stands to gain from the debate.

"I don't care whether it benefits me politically or not," Castro said. "Someone like Dan Patrick who demagogues and demonizes immigrants ought to have someone stand up to him and say no, this hasn't been the way Texas prospered, it hasn't been the way that we treat people in Texas and I'm going to do it.

Castro said he and Patrick have never met each other but they did speak on the phone recently to discuss the debate and Castro said it was "a good conversation."

Meanwhile the pair continue to exchange tweets including one Monday sent by Castro in which he told Patrick to, "be ready to defend your extremist, anti-immigrant record."

Patrick said in a tweet on Sunday he was looking forward to a "thoughtful debate" on border security.

The debate takes place at 6 p.m. Tuesday KSAT News will be there and will have a complete wrapup on Tuesday's NightBeat.

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