"It's unlikely that most of the kids who go through this process will qualify for humanitarian relief, which is to say that most of them will not have a legal basis... will not be found through the court process to have a legal basis to remain in this country," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
He said that each migrant was specific and would be treated on a case-by-case basis.
"That's what the immigration law requires. That's why again, we're seeking additional judges and lawyers and asylum officials who can process these claims more quickly to make sure that each case is heard and given the requisite amount of attention," he said.
"However, based on what we know about these cases, it is unlikely that most of these kids will qualify for humanitarian relief. What that means is they will not have a legal basis for remaining in this country and will be returned," Earnest said.
The kids, mostly minors from Central America, are processed under a 2008 law meant to combat the trafficking of minors.
According to news reports, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 women with children have been apprehended at the border this year.