DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) says rural Americans embrace immigration when they see it as the solution to their employment needs and a shrinking population.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor discussed his rural economic policy proposal with reporters Tuesday while taking a walk through the Iowa State Fair. His proposal calls for towns and counties, and not just corporations, to be able to seek employment visas.

Buttigieg says if residents are part of the decision to invite immigrants to their communities, "it does change the way we look at things," and they are less likely to fear outsiders.

Buttigieg has embarked on a three-day trip through Iowa, including rural counties carried by Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and Republican Donald Trump in 2016.

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