Number of unaccompanied minors crossing into U.S. tops 60,000

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Story highlights

  • Internal DHS figures: Current count for fiscal year ending in October is over 62,000
  • Administration's new estimate: Some 90,000 unaccompanied minors by year's end
  • Just over 38,000 undocumented minors came to U.S. in past two fiscal years combined

The number of unaccompanied minor immigrants who have crossed into the United States has officially surpassed the 60,000 expected in the Obama administration's initial estimates, according to Department of Homeland Security data.

Internal DHS figures show the number for the fiscal year, which ends in October, stands at more than 62,000 as of the end of last week, according to a U.S. official.

The child-immigrant crisis was at the center of the roiling political fight in recent days. The Republican-controlled House shelved and then, late Friday night, passed legislation to force the Obama administration to more quickly deport the undocumented immigrants. The bill has no realistic chance of becoming law.

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The administration has since produced new estimates of up to 90,000 unaccompanied minors by year's end. The vast majority are from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

While the administration says the number of unaccompanied minor immigrants appear to be slowing recently, this year's figure already is significantly higher than the 38,293 of the previous two fiscal years combined.