Tucked inside the stopgap spending bill that cleared Congress Thursday night was $1.6 billion to help the Biden administration deal with the growing number of illegal immigrant kids jumping the southern border.
The cash didn’t get much attention, but its inclusion in the bill was an acknowledgment of the ongoing severity of the problem, which the administration at one point had labeled “seasonal” but which is now about to stretch into a second calendar year.
The money is aimed at helping Health and Human Services shelter tens of thousands of migrant children and try to find sponsors to take them into their homes here.
The $1.6 billion was “disguised in legislative language” in the bill, said Rob Law, director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies.
The bill obliquely allocates $1.6 billion to an “account specified and for the activities specified in section 141 of this Act.” Section 141 was part of the first stopgap spending bill Congress passed in late September that included a $2.5 billion cash infusion.
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