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Immigration looms over contested Worthington school referendum

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Residents of the Minnesota town of Worthington will decide whether to approve nearly $34 million in new borrowing to expand schools that have filled to overflowing in recent years due to an influx of immigrants.

Voters have rejected five similar measures since 2013, with some supporters suggesting an anti-immigrant backlash played a role.

Worthington is a growing community of about 13,000 residents. Its pork processing plant is a major employer of immigrants.

The measure on Tuesday’s ballot would allow the school district to use bonds to pay for new construction. The district has been converting hallways and closets into classroom space to deal with the overcrowding.

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