"I am a candidate for president of the United States", the 44-year-old Castro told a crowd in San Antonio's historic Guadalupe Plaza, during a speech that frequently invoked the immigrant heritage that brought his family to the USA from Mexico.
"When my grandmother got here nearly a hundred years ago, I'm sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later, one of her grandsons would be serving as a member of the United States Congress and the other would be standing with you here today to say these words: I am a candidate for President of the United States of America", he said at the rally. If successful, he would be the first Hispanic and one of the youngest Americans to win the White House.
Two days after the president visited the border to promote his promised wall, Castro mocked Trump for claiming that the USA faces an "invasion" from its ally to the south.
Julian Castro may already be behind in the polls, but no matter-he's boldly running for president. "Yeah, we have to have border security, but there is a smart and a humane way to do it". "And there is no way in hell that caging babies is the right way to do it". The ex-housing secretary became the second Democrat to formally enter race, after former Maryland Rep. John Delaney.
Launching his bid under the slogan "One nation, one destiny", he said: "We say no to the construction of the wall and yes to the construction of communities". His twin brother, Joaquín Castro, is the Democratic congressman for Texas's 20th district. If he had a disappointment, he said, it was that is grandmother, who died when he was younger, could not be there to see him.
"Today we're falling backwards instead of moving forward", he said. The Spanish-style plaza in the Castro twins' boyhood neighborhood was packed with supporters who streamed through the gates between a mariachi band.
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Since 2012, potential candidates like Sens.
One of Castro's major problems is that he really doesn't have much of a resume compared to some of the heavier hitters we're expecting to get into the race over the next few months. He has always been viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party since he first landed on the national scene by delivering the keynote speech for President Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Yet with so many better known contenders considering the race, including fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke, Castro will have to work to stand out.
A native of San Antonio, Castro was elected to the City Council in 2001 at age 26 - its youngest member in history - and became mayor eight years later.
He was raised by a local Latina activist, and after a brief career in law, was elected mayor of the nation's seventh-largest city at 34. Obama picked him to be housing secretary in 2014.
Mr Castro, who was considered on the short list to be Hillary Clinton's running mate in the 2016 election, will try to leverage his Obama administration experience while making the case he is still a political newcomer.
As Fox News noted, Castro is running on a progressive platform that includes universal health care and affordable housing.
Castro launched an exploratory committee for a potential campaign on December 12, citing a platform built on opportunity, education, housing, health care, immigration and the environment.