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Democratic presidential hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg stated on Wednesday that America needs more immigrants and that he would welcome an additional 30,000 into his community.

“We need people here. We need to grow,” Buttigieg replied when asked if the influx of people into the country will take away jobs from the people already in America.

“My community, if we got responsible, able-bodied people on a path to citizenship, send them to South Bend because we are trying to grow our community,” he continued. “Job growth and population growth go hand-in-hand.”

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Buttigieg contended President Donald Trump’s handling of programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a “political strategy” the White House is employing to divide Americans on immigration issues.

“When it comes to what we ought to do with immigration policy, I think most Americans actually broadly agree on what to do,” Buttigieg said. “We need a pathway to citizenship, we need temporary protected status and protections for DREAMers, we need to improve our lawful immigration processes that are bureaucratic and backlogged, and we need to do whatever is appropriate and necessary on border security.”

The Democratic hopeful also acknowledged that Congress needs “to fix the process” of legal immigration so American can have “a lawful, orderly process,” but that the 115th Congress’s failed attempts to do so is another “example of Washington being broken.”

“I think with presidential leadership, we can get it done. We have to because our economy and the trajectory of this country depend on it,” Buttigieg said. “But if somebody thinks America is full, I tell you, my community in Indiana isn’t full.”

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“We were built for 130,000 people and we only got a 100 now. So, I have enough fire stations and roads and police officers and water capacity to take 30,000 more people,” he added. “I could use 30,000 more taxpayers to help us fund it.”

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