Senate panel gives $2 billion for child immigrants

WASHINGTON - A Senate appropriations panel has approved giving the Obama administration $2 billion it requested to handle the influx of immigrant children caught trying to cross the Mexican border alone.

The Obama administration last month asked the Senate panel to give the Health and Human Services Department $1.4 billion more than the administration originally asked for to deal with tens of thousands of children apprehended this year by the Homeland Security Department. The full Senate would have to act on its version, and the House has not yet dealt with the issue.

More than 48,000 child immigrants traveling alone have been caught at the border since the start of the 2014 budget year in October.

Officials underestimated this year's spike in the growing number of immigrant children entering this country.

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