Senate panel blocks $50 million for lawyers for immigrant children

Richard Shelby.

A Senate panel has blocked President Barack Obama’s request for $50 million to pay for legal help for unaccompanied immigrant children coming to the United States after fleeing violence in Central America.

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama is behind the move. He’s the chief author of a spending bill funding the Justice Department.

The measure won initial approval Wednesday but has a long way to go before becoming law.

The number of children fleeing gangs and other dangers in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and making their way to the U.S. is down significantly from last year.

Without legal representation, these children are much more likely to be sent back to their home countries.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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