Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says deportation proceedings for thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally might be long delayed.
More than 50,000 children have crossed the border so far this year, most fleeing nations like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, which are reportedly seeing spikes in poverty and violence.
Johnson is calling the border crisis a legal and humanitarian dilemma for the United States.
"Our border is not open to illegal migration, and we are taking a number of steps to address it, including turning people around faster," the Homeland Security secretary said.
According to Johnson, the administration has dramatically sped up the processing of adults who enter the country illegally, and it is also opening more detention facilities.
Meanwhile, members of both parties are criticizing the Obama administration for its handling of the situation.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, says the administration "is one step behind" a major dilemma that was foreseeable.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry agreed, saying the state warned the administration about this crisis over two years ago.
"We're seeing that become reality today," Perry told ABC's "This Week." "This is a failure of diplomacy. It is a failure of leadership from the administration in Washington, D.C."