Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro has launched a far-reaching immigration reform policy. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro told MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Tuesday the U.S. needs immigration and if President Trump's policies aren't reversed, the nation may end up "begging" for migrants.

Several of the industries in this country benefit already from their labor. We need a young and vibrant workforce. ... immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. "

The big picture: Castro's comments came as he launched his far-reaching "People First" immigration reform policy. The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who served under then-President Obama, told Maddow he wants to return to treating immigration treating immigration as a civil issue, rather than a criminal one.

"We should decriminalize people who are coming here, crossing the border. ... We need to end detention. I don't think we should be putting people in cages. We need to increase the number of refugees that we take into this country. ...
"The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue. It’s time to end this draconian policy ..."

The other side: For the president, the issue is very much a security one. Trump said earlier Tuesday shutting the southern border was "going to have a negative impact on the economy," the New York Times reports. "[But] security is more important to me than trade."

Go deeper: Julián Castro: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

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AOC to speak at Dem convention

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during an April a press conference in Queens, New York City. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak at the Democratic convention next week, to give the nominating speech for Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Tuesday night, CNN first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: Her involvement is a strategic decision to energize young progressives without tying former Vice President Joe Biden too closely or directly with her agenda.

Updated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 20,001,019 — Total deaths: 733,897 — Total recoveries — 12,209,074Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,085,821 — Total deaths: 163,370 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. Politics: Trump claims he would have not called for Obama to resign over 160,000 virus deathsHouse will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hellAt least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."
57 mins ago - World

Protests in Belarus turn deadly following sham election

An arrest today in Minsk. Photo: Natalia Fedosenko/TASS via Getty

Protesters and security forces are clashing across Belarus tonight, with at least one person dead, hundreds injured and thousands arrested.

Why it matters: Sunday’s rigged presidential elections have yielded political uncertainty unlike any seen in Aleksander Lukashenko’s 26-year tenure. After claiming an implausible 80% of the vote, Lukashenko is using every tool in the authoritarian arsenal to maintain his grip on power.