'Anyone who supports this is supporting racism': Pete Buttigieg blasts Trump's policies as antithetical to American values
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (Photo: Screen capture)

On the debate stage in Houston, Texas, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg laid into President Donald Trump's attacks on immigrants.

"Anyone who supports this is supporting racism," said Buttigieg. "The only people, though, who actually buy into this president's hateful rhetoric around immigrants are people who don't know any. We have an opportunity to build an American majority around immigration reform. In my community, a group of conservative Republicans rallied around an individual, a beloved local individual who was deported when he went into ICE to try to get his paperwork sorted out, because they never thought it would happen to him. In some of the most conservative, rural areas of Iowa, I have seen communities that embraced immigration grow. And that's why part of my plan for revitalizing the economies or rural America including community renewal visas that would allow areas that are hurting to embrace immigration as we have in my city."

"You know, the only reason that South Bend is growing right now, after years of shrinking, is immigration," said Buttigieg. "It's one of the reasons we acted, not waiting for Washington, to create city issued municipal IDs so people, regardless of immigration status, in our city had the opportunity to have the benefits of identification. We have the opportunity to actually get something done."

"But we cannot allow this continue to be the same debate with the same arguments and the same clever lines often among the same people since the last real reform happened in the 1980s," continued Buttigieg. "We have to actually engage the American majority around the opportunities for not just growth and small communities, but our values. Values of welcome, values of faith that all argue for us to manage this humanely and in a way that marries our values with our laws."

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