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Dem Mayor Touts Job Benefits of Her City Housing Illegal Immigrants

A transport officer searches immigrants before bussing them to a processing center after they crossed the border from Mexico on April 13, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. / Getty Images
• May 7, 2021 6:30 pm

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A Democratic mayor in North Carolina welcomed on Thursday the prospect of housing illegal immigrants in her city, saying the decision would boost job numbers.

Greensboro mayor Nancy Vaughan said opening an overflow shelter for hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children would add "as many as 800 jobs" for city residents, with the federal government paying for the accommodations. Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services visited the city Tuesday to survey a potential site for a migrant shelter, according to the Washington Examiner.

A record number of unaccompanied migrant children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since January. Between Inauguration Day and April 5, border agents apprehended more than 2,000 unaccompanied minors who had already tried to enter the United States with their families. In March, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the United States faced its biggest surge of illegal immigration at the southern border in two decades. Border agents apprehended more than 170,000 migrants crossing the border that month, up from 100,000 in February.

In March, President Joe Biden urged migrants to remain in their country of residence, but Mayorkas said later that, if apprehended, border agents would "not expel" unaccompanied migrant children. A majority of voters blame the Biden administration's policies for the surge, according to a recent poll.

In April, Biden announced he would keep the Trump administration's refugee cap of 15,000 admissions, but reversed course and raised it to 62,500 after facing pressure from Democratic lawmakers.