(NBC News) Facing a drastic influx in undocumented children from Central America crossing the southern border, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is giving parents of these children a strong warning.
"It is not safe," Johnson said Thursday. "Is not a desirable situation and I would encourage no parent to send their child or send for their child through this process."
Federal statistics estimate the number of undocumented children entering the U.S. could swell to 90,000 this year, more than six times the 13,625 who arrived two years ago.
It's more than border patrols can handle, leading to complaints of poor treatment in overcrowded holding cells.
Secretary Johnson says a government wide response is underway.
Including additional aid specifically for children, and increased border enforcement and deportation efforts.
Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.