South Bend mayor reacts to refugee rejection

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg's Second Term

Pete Buttigieg secured his seat in office as South Bend's mayor earlier this month. On Tuesday, he joined ABC 57 in studio to talk about issues affecting city residents.

Bringing More Jobs to South Bend

Last week, Buttigieg made a trip to Washington D.C. to take part in a discussion with dozens of other mayors from all over the country. The main topic was finding ways to help middle class families get ahead, either by raising the minimum wage or by creating new jobs.

"My interest in particular was making sure we're doing what we can for the middle class in places like South Bend," Buttigieg said. "It gave me the opportunity to learn about grant programs, initiatives, especially in the department of labor. It might be helpful for us as we're trying to get more people to work in good jobs here in South Bend."

Refugees "Not Welcome Here" Declarations

In light of recent announcements by at least 25 governors saying they're opposed to letting Syrian refugees into their states, we wanted to ask Buttigieg about his stance on it. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said on Monday he's suspending resettlement of refugees for now.

"Safety and security is hugely important. It's also important to recognize that of any group of immigrants the most carefully vetted are refugees," Buttigieg said. "The whole point of terrorism is to make us fearful and to make us abandon our values. But our openness to others is one of our values that makes America great.  I think we have to find a way forward that continues to be true to what's best about America, even while we keep ourselves safe

Vets Community Connection

Buttigieg knew his way around after an overseas deployment, but for some military families, figuring out the city is tough, especially while transitioning from a tour of duty.

South Bend is now one of only three communities in the country taking part in "Vets Community Connection."

"The whole idea is to make sure that we have a network of community volunteers to help veterans and military families find their way in the community," he said. "So that when a new family arrives and they're looking for anything, they're looking for a good dentist for the kids to advice on navigating schools, there's a human being right here they can get to through 311 to help them out."

They are recruiting volunteers from now through January. You can sign up on the city's website.

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