The Trump administration will announce a new regulation on Wednesday that will allow immigrant families with children to remain in detention for longer period.
The current law bars long-term detention for immigrant children inside the US territory without valid visa.
The new rule is expected to change the Flores Settlement Agreement, which restricts detention of unaccompanied children and migrant families up to 20 days. The agreement was named after Jenny Lisette Flores, a 15-year-old girl from El Salvador, who tried to enter the United States to join her aunt in 1985.
ABC News, quoting unidentified government officials, said that the plan will be unveiled as soon as Wednesday. The goal of the Trump administration is to plug legal loopholes that have helped human traffickers and smugglers to exploit vulnerabilities across the US-Mexico border.
Trump administration has been facing severe criticism over the death of some children who died after being held in these detention centres, allegedly due to poor conditions. Since the US law permits people to cross the border to seek asylum, handling undocumented immigrants along the southern border has been a major headache for Trump administration.
The numbers of people who cross the border have dropped slightly since the US government signed a deal with the Mexican government to deploy its own security forces to crackdown on asylum seekers.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had said that the legal loopholes significantly hinder the Department's ability to appropriately detain and promptly remove illegal migrants. It is expected that detaining families for longer period may deter migrants from crossing the Southwestern border illegally.
The change in rules might help the administration to detain migrant families together for as long as their immigration cases are pending.