WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from detained immigrant mothers and their children who claim they will be persecuted if they are returned to their Latin American homelands.

The justices on Monday left in place a lower court ruling that said the families did not have a right to contest their deportation in federal court.

The 28 mothers and their 33 children were arrested in Texas soon after crossing the border illegally, and immigration officials rejected their asylum claims. The immigrants came from Honduras, Guatemala and Ecuador.

They argued they were entitled to a hearing before an independent federal judge.