American taxpayers should be on the hook to pay reparations to illegal immigrant minors detained by federal officials, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, argued Thursday night during the latest debate.
Last month Buttigieg, 37, said that the U.S. government should compensate children who were separated from their families while illegally crossing the southern border.
Asked if he was committing to providing such compensation — reparations, in essence — to those children if elected president, Buttigieg said he was.
“Yes, and they should have a fast-track to citizenship because what the United States did under this president to them was wrong,” Buttigieg said. “We have a moral obligation to make right what was broken.”
That said, Buttigieg did not endorse paying reparations to the descendants of American slaves, which is an increasingly popular position among Democrats.
But he said the government should invest more in minority-owned businesses, black colleges, and “health equity.”
He also said he would appoint a commission to study reparations for the decedents of slaves.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation allocating $255 million to historically black colleges.
The legislation came in the form of an “amendment to a bill that would permanently re-authorize millions of dollars in federal funding to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs) for a decade,” The Epoch Times reported.
The bill amends The FUTURE Act, restoring a 10-year mandatory extension of $255 million in annual funding to HBCUs and MSIs, including $850 million specifically for HBCUs.
It also simplifies the paperwork for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by cutting off more than 20 questions from the application form, and streamline income-driven repayment for nearly 8 million borrowers, the Times reported.
“When I took office, I promised to fight for HBCUs, and my Administration continues to deliver,” said the president, noting that President Obama was unable to get this done.
“A few months ago, funding for HBCUs was in jeopardy. But the White House and Congress came together and reached a historic agreement.”