Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Barack Obama, offered sharp criticism of President Donald Trump and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in an interview with CBS this weekend that aired Sunday morning.
"When my grandmother got here nearly 100 years ago, I'm sure she never could have imagined that just two generations later... He was not in the Bernie Sanders mould of trying to revolutionize the city", said Crockett, who teaches political science and wrote a book on insurgent presidential candidates.
He spoke from a podium that featured his campaign logo - his first name, with an emphasis on its accent - and greeted supporters with mariachi music.
Castro's entrance makes him the only declared Latino in the Democratic field, a relatively powerful position given how the party has leaned on Latino voters and turnout efforts to tilt states like Nevada, Arizona and Texas their direction in recent years.
Rep. John Delaney of Maryland is already running for president, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said in an interview Friday that she has chose to run for the White House.
"Going forward", Castro said, America "must be the smartest, the fairest, the healthiest and the most prosperous nation on earth".
Mr Castro made his announcement in his home town of San Antonio, Texas, where he was mayor from 2009 to 2014.
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He attributes his adaptability to a childhood spent playing with older kids who often used their seniority to bat ahead of him. His first act was to go to the next room, where his parents were sleeping.
His identical twin, Rep. Joaquin Castro, will serve as his campaign chairman, according to a campaign press release provided to CNN.
At a time when the federal government has been partly shut down over Trump's demand for funds to build a wall on the Mexican border, Castro sounded a contrasting message. His first trip as a candidate comes Monday, to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, where an outcry has begun as the White House considers diverting disaster funding to pay for the wall.
Joining him in the race is Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who announced her candidacy on Friday.
Since 2012, potential candidates like Sens. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is doing little to dim speculation that he might jump into a field that has no clear front-runner. Senator Elizabeth Warren of MA launched an exploratory committee on December 31.
He would also become the third prominent Latino presidential candidate in four years, after Republican senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio fought Trump for their party's nomination in 2016.
Castro, however, may not be the only Texan in the race.
Castro was born into a well-known activist family.
Castro added that his grandmother Victoria, who sat on a stage behind him beneath a huge American flag, would surely have been amazed when she arrived from Mexico in 1922, a seven-year-old orphan, had she known that one grandchild would end up in Congress and the other as a presidential candidate. "I am going to go speak to them in a way that resonates with them".
Laying out other key components of his campaign platform, Castro noted his support for Medicare for All and his rejection of corporate political action committee (PAC) money as well as his dedication to taking action to address the global climate crisis.