Budget

Spending bill leaves out immigration courts

Congress' must-pass budget bill ignores the Obama administration's request to accelerate spending on immigration courts to handle the flood of unaccompanied minors at the border, although it does boost spending flexibility for Border Patrol agents and detention centers.

Immigrant advocates complained that House Republicans focused on detaining Central American youths and families, while ignoring the need for more immigration judges to hear their cases.

Advocates and Democratic congressional aides say the omission of language to accelerate spending on immigration courts upset some Democrats. But the issue got scant attention because the budget bill was needed to avert a government shutdown, and was paired with a vote on arming Syria rebels.

A spokeswoman for House Appropriations Committee Republicans said the panel focused on only critical spending shifts in the legislation.