U.S. Attorney General William Barr - in his first immigration court ruling since taking office - issued an order to keep migrants seeking asylum in jail indefinitely, rather than releasing them on bond.
(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "And of course asylum is a ridiculous situation." The order is the latest move by the Trump administration to clamp down on immigration at the southern border and to make good on the president's promise to end what's commonly known as "catch and release." (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "It's a big con job." An influx of migrants - escaping violence and poverty in their home countries - has confounded the Trump administration, and prompted a shake-up at the Department of Homeland Security, where several top officials were forced out this month.
Barr's order on Tuesday, which goes into effect in 90 days, will almost certainly be challenged in court.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration launched an effort to return some asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for their cases to be heard.
That policy has been challenged with a lawsuit.
Tuesday's ruling doesn't apply to migrants who apply for asylum at ports of entry along the border, nor does it apply to unaccompanied children or families.
It applies to those who crossed illegally into the U.S. Barr said those people will now be kept in detention centers or they can be given 'parole.'
But that's on the discretion of the department.