100 days deep: Rep. Joaquin Castro leading charge for immigration reform


by Deborah Knapp / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @DeborahKnappTV5


Posted on April 11, 2013 at 10:10 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 11 at 11:36 PM

On April 12, Congress marks its first 100 days in session. In that short time, San Antonio freshman Congressman Joaquin Castro has already made quite a name for himself.

Rep. Castro recently sat down with KENS 5's Deborah Knapp in his first one-on-one interview since taking office.

Castro is considered one of the rising stars in the Democratic party. He got the label after introducing his twin, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, as the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

Business Insider also named him as one of the "12 Most Fascinating New Members of Congress." A separate study also found him one of the most talked about House freshmen in news and social media.

"We try to be active on Twitter and Facebook," he said. "Also since we've gotten to Congress, we've answered about 800 to 1,000 e-mails and letters from constituents, and I've been working on 300 constituent cases," said Castro, who represents District 20.

While his brother testified on the Hill on immigration, Congressman Castro was making the rounds on the national talk shows as the unofficial ambassador on immigration for the Obama Administration.

"I think it will happen this year in 2013," he said. "I think it will include a path to citizenship. Now you seem to have bipartisan support in both the House and Senate to do that."

Immigration reform is one of Castro's top priorities, but his first big vote will likely be on gun control.

"I think we can make reforms that respect Second Amendment but still make it safer on the streets," Castro said. "What I think will happen in the U.S. Congress is we will get a universal background check bill, closing the gun show loophole."

The freshman representative has landed two plum committee assignments: foreign affairs and armed services -- both of which he believes will benefit San Antonio.

"We've heard there may be a future BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) round coming, so I want to make sure on the Armed Services Committee, along with San Antonio Congressman Pete Gallego, that we are able to position our bases and Joint Base San Antonio to make sure we don't lose any of our military assets," Castro said.

After winning the seat in Congress, Castro won a second election as president of the Democratic freshman class. Many say it is just the latest step up for a San Antonio native who seems destined to climb the political ladder.