Former HUD secretary Julian Castro called for the repeal of Section 1325 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In other words, he called for decriminalizing the act of crossing the border without permission. Customs and Border Protection data show that nearly 133,000 people were apprehended crossing the border without authorization in May, a number that grows to nearly 600,000 when measuring from October through May.
Section 1325 makes it an offense under federal law to cross or attempt to cross the border “at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers.” It also penalizes anyone who eludes inspection or examination or deceives immigration officials.
The penalty for a first-time offender is a fine or less than six months in prison; in other words, a misdemeanor. For repeat offenders, the offense becomes a felony punishable by up to two years in prison.
Castro is calling for something Mexico implemented in 2011, when it decriminalized the act of crossing the border illegally.