Migrant families who cross the southern border of the US illegally could be detained indefinitely under a new regulation announced by the Trump administration.
It replaces an agreement that set a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody.
The move was announced by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin Mc-Aleenan and is due to come into effect in 60 days.
It is expected to face legal challenge.
Homeland security officials believe that time limits on the detentions of migrant families have driven the surge of Central Americans crossing the border into the US this year.
They argued that the new regulation will counter the belief that bringing children into the US is “a passport” to being freed from detention after a short period.