The Trump administration made its latest move on immigration Wednesday when it announced that it will end a long-standing rule that limited child detention to 20 days.

The new rule, ending the so-called Flores agreement, will allow officials to hold families in detention indefinitely for the duration of immigration cases, which could be much longer than previous limit. Details of the new rule will be released Friday and will need approval from a federal judge.

At a press conference in Washington, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan told reporters: "No child should be a pawn in a scheme to manipulate our immigration system, which is why the new rule eliminates the incentive to exploit children as a free ticket".

This rule extends the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, requiring all asylum seekers to be held in detention until their case can be processed.

Speaking before his departure to Kentucky Wednesday morning, President Trump again cast blame for the current immigration conditions on his predecessor, saying, "President Obama built the cells, the cages that you people talk about and attribute them to me."

He said abolishing the Flores agreement "will do even more to bring [migrant families] together."

"We already have about 11,000 children — most of them are unaccompanied — being held in a gulag across America," Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) told Cheddar in an interview on Tuesday prior to the announcement of the Flores rollback. "I thought we'd never see internment camps promoted again".

The senator also said that Americans have to focus less on Trump's tweets and anti-immigrant banter, and more on the issues that matter to the ideals of what makes the nation so unique.

"Right now what is happening in America, with our money, with our government, on our land, is an abomination on human rights."

Merkley, one of the original members of Congress to bring the detention issue to national attention in 2017, has proposed a solution: bringing back the family case management program.

"By this administration, we found that 99 plus percent of families showed up for their check-ins, showed up for their hearings, when they had a case manager. This administration shut it down," he said. "They are causing families, through lack of communication, who fail to show up and then they are complaining about it."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a statement, "The indefinite and prolonged detention of children would compound the cruelty and accelerate the heart-breaking humanitarian situation at the border, worsening conditions for children already forced to sleep on concrete floors, eat inedible food and be denied basic sanitation and standards of care."

As anti-immigrant rhetoric continues to be a focal point in Trump's 2020 re-election bid, Democratic candidates are pouncing on the current administration, proposing new solutions to the problem.

Although Merkley did not endorse a specific candidate's plan to Cheddar, he explained, "I think all the candidates up there are firmly saying that we cannot count this dark, evil force of mistreating children as a political strategy."

"I have 40 senators on my Stop Cruel Treatment of Migrant Children Act," Merkley later added: "[Democrats] would pass this in an instant if they were in charge."

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