Buttigieg: Illegal Immigrants Should Be Able to Obtain National ID Cards

WASHINGTON -- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate, said his program that issued city identification cards to undocumented immigrants should be replicated nationally.

"What we did in South Bend is we found there were a lot of people living in our community and people who I am responsible for serving regardless of their citizenship status but who are excluded from the life of the community, partly because in Indiana you cannot obtain good identification," Buttigieg said during a presidential forum at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Conference on Tuesday. "So we decided to just do it as a city and we made it possible to get a city ID card for everything from being able to pick up a prescription or get your kid from daycare to being able to identify yourself with law enforcement."

Buttigieg continued, "Now, nationally I think we should make it possible for everybody to obtain identification so that cities like mine don't have to create solutions like this but what we're seeing right now from issues on something like global challenges like climate change, more and more the problem solving is happening at the city level," he added.

In June, Buttigieg posted a news article about the program on Facebook and wrote that "over 4,000 immigrants in South Bend were locked out of basic services, like opening a checking account or picking up their prescriptions, because they lacked a proper identification. Community Residence Cards fixed this problem."