Pope Francis Calls on U.S. to Welcome Illegal Immigrants

In his message to the “Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development,” Pope Francis characterized the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants that have crossed the U.S. southern border as a product of globalization, suggesting that the phenomenon is happening worldwide.

Francis proclaimed, “Despite the large influx of migrants present in all continents and in almost all countries, migration is still seen as an emergency, or as a circumstantial and sporadic fact, while instead it has now become a hallmark of our society and a challenge.”

Emmer McCarthy for Vatican Radio said Francis expressed his concern for “the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence.” He further sympathized, saying that “this is a category of migrants… who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain." The Pope added that the amount of those willing to take the dangerous journey “are increasing day by day."

The Argentinean pontiff claims that the illegal immigrants are “forced to emigrate, suffer, and often, die tragically; many of their rights are violated, they are obliged to separate from their families and, unfortunately, continue to be the subject of racist and xenophobic attitudes.”

Rebecca Hamilton reporting for Patheos wrote that Cardinal Parolin also addressed the Colloquium and stated: "Whether they are traveling because of poverty, or violence, or with the hope of reuniting with relatives on the other side of the border, it is urgent to protect them and help them because their vulnerability is greater and they are defenseless against any abuse or misfortune.”

Finally, the Pope called for everyone to have a new outlook toward “migrants and refugees” and that we should discard previous conceptions of “defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization.” Moreover, the world should transform itself from a “throwaway culture” to a culture "capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world."


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