The Obama administration is to announce Tuesday a new plan for the detention of illegal immigrants awaiting deportation.
Under the new guidelines, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will devise a system to determine which immigrants should be imprisoned and which should be housed in less restrictive facilities.
Under the current system, violent and non-violent illegal immigrants are being held in a makeshift network of local, state and federal jails. Nearly 400,000 people are held in this system each year, at a cost of about $2 billion.
The new proposals would house non-violent immigrants such as women and children in former hotels, nursing homes and other sites. The Obama administration is also considering building two new detention centers.
Immigrant advocacy groups say many detainees have been denied access to basic medical care and other services under the current system.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.