Dem Keynote Speaker Compares Status of Illegal Immigrants to African-American Slaves

San Antonio Mayor and Keynote Speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Julián Castro, appeared on MSNBC with host Alex Wagner on Wednesday where he compared the status of illegal immigrants living in the United States to that of African-American slaves in the antebellum South. He quickly backtracked after making this statement, saying that he did not intend to compare either of those two groups’ circumstances other than to say that they were both a “permanent class of folks who are not citizens.”

Appearing with his brother, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) on MSNBC, both Castros agreed with Wagner when she said that Democrats were open to extending either legal residence or citizenship to the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal residents.

“We’re pushing for full-fledged citizenship,” Joaquin Castro said. “A path to citizenship.”

“It would be unprecedented in American history for us to create a permanent class of folks who are not citizens outside of slavery,” Julián Castro agreed. “And we certainly learned our lesson from that.”

RELATED: MSNBC’s Michael Eric Dyson to GOP: Stop Comparing Obamacare to Slavery!

“I’m not comparing the two in any other sense except to say that we want – we want, in the United States, for folks to be fully invested in our nation,” he added, appearing to backtrack slightly.

Watch the clip below via MSNBC:

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.