(CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is asking Congress for new authorities to deport and detain migrants.
In a letter to lawmakers Thursday, she said she wants the authority to return unaccompanied Central American children to their home countries if they don't have a legal right to stay.
It would be similar to the way the Department of Homeland Security repatriates Mexican children.
Nielsen also said she will propose measures to keep migrant families in custody throughout their immigration proceedings.
She wrote her department needs the changes because it is "increasingly unable" to uphold its responsibility to control the southern border situation.
She also said the department’s funds are running out.