South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg campaigned on Wednesday for more illegal immigrants in the United States with deferred deportation to come to his city.
The mayor held a campaign event with the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa to discuss issues important to Democrats.
One woman present asked Buttigieg whether the United States should protect the legal status of DACA recipients and other illegals with deferred deportation and temporary protected status.
“We need people here. We need to grow. My community — if we got responsible able-bodied people on a path to citizenship, send them to South Bend, because we’re trying to grow our community,” Buttigieg replied. “Job growth and population growth go hand in hand.”
The woman cited people she spoke with who were concerned about the growth in illegal immigration because they would take jobs away from legal American workers.
Buttigieg alluded to President Donald Trump’s assertion that the country was “full” and could not accept more illegals into the country.
“If somebody thinks America’s full, I can tell you that my community in Indiana isn’t full,” Buttigieg said. “We were built for 130,000 people and we only have a 100,000 now.”
Buttigieg criticized the president’s political strategy of trying to divide Americans instead of trying to lead to a process to legalize more immigrants.
He proposed extending amnesty and TPS status for Dreamers and other illegals in the country, as well as reforms for legal immigration and border security.
“We can’t expect that process to work if we aren’t willing to fix it,” he said.
He said he would welcome 30,000 more workers for taxpayers in South Bend, before commenting on the issue in Spanish.