Buttigieg's Big Accomplishment That He Never Mentions on the Campaign Trail - NECN
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Buttigieg's Big Accomplishment That He Never Mentions on the Campaign Trail

More than two years later, 2,153 cards have been distributed (about half of the estimated undocumented population) in South Bend, Indiana

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Buttigieg's Big Accomplishment That He Never Mentions on the Campaign Trail
    Charlie Neibergall/AP
    Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Capital City Pride Fest, Saturday, June 8, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.

    It was 2016 and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg had a problem. Wanting to coax the small city's approximately 4,500 undocumented immigrants out of the shadows to help them access services, Buttigieg toyed with the idea of some type of municipal identification card for those who couldn't obtain driver's licenses or other government IDs.

    The result was an innovative, first-of-its-kind governmentally endorsed, privately run program — one Buttigieg could tout on the presidential primary campaign trail where Latinos are a key voting group. But he never does, NBC News reports.

    Working closely with La Casa de Amistad, South Bend's main Latino outreach center, Buttigieg and the nonprofit's executive director, Sam Centellas, imagined a "Community Resident Card" program in which the IDs would be paid for, created and distributed by the group — a private organization — not the city. Buttigieg's part to make it all work was to sign an executive order requiring local services and institutions to accept the card as a valid form of identification.

    "Well, it's certainly something we're proud of. I could probably talk about it more,” Buttigieg told NBC News. "It's probably an undervalued approach. And one more example where you have a national challenge, where, if the city steps up, you can really make an impact."

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)