A handout picture provided by the Guatemalan Foreign Relations Ministry shows Mexican Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Chong, Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson addressing the humanitar ian crisis of child migrants at the U.S. border during a press conference at the Foreign Minister's office in Guatemala City July 9. President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion dollars in aid to plug the flood of young parentless migrants. CNS photo/Foreign Relations Ministry, EPA

Pope calls for end to ‘racist and xenophobic’ approach to migrants along U.S.-Mexico border

By  Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service
  • July 16, 2014

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis today waded into the controversy of the wave of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for an end to racism against migrants and pushing the United States to offer greater protection for young children entering the country illegally.

“Many people forced to emigrate suffer, and often, die tragically,” the Pope said in a message sent to a global conference in Mexico.

“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.”

The Argentine pontiff said a different approach is needed to tackling what he called a “humanitarian emergency” as growing numbers of unaccompanied children are migrating to the United States from Central America and Mexico.

“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence,” the Pope said.

“They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.”

In April, a delegation of U.S. bishops staged a dramatic Mass along the U.S.-Mexico border and distributed Communion through the border fence. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called on the Obama administration to let the children stay in the United States.

“The prospect of the United States sending vulnerable children back into the hands of violent criminals in their countries raises troubling questions about our moral character,” said Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the bishops’ migration committee.

The Pope has often spoken out in his support for refugees and called for a dramatic change of consciousness. When he visited the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa on his first official visit outside Rome last year, the 77-year-old pontiff greeted migrants from North Africa and the Middle East and criticized what he termed the “global indifference” to their plight.

In his latest message, Francis said the fear and indifference of what he termed the “throwaway culture” should be replaced with a commitment to building a more just and fraternal world.

“These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin,” the Pope said.

“This challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.”

The Pope’s letter was sent to the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development and presented by the papal nuncio to Mexico, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, also attended the conference.

Comments (4)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Pope Francis the modernist pope of Vatican II social justice.
This pope is a member of a church that began in the 1960s

salvelinus
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I've been Catholic all my life. This pope is a disgrace and he is wrong on this issue as on many others. He has no business telling a sovereign country that it may not have borders. Let's dump 300,000 illegals in Buenos Aires and see how "que...

I've been Catholic all my life. This pope is a disgrace and he is wrong on this issue as on many others. He has no business telling a sovereign country that it may not have borders. Let's dump 300,000 illegals in Buenos Aires and see how "que lio" responds then.

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jackryan
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I agree and support Pope Francis on this issue of immigration because as a Catholic this is the only way to feel and think on this issue.

The Holy Family were immigrant themselves, Christ was an immigrant when He went into Egypt and He is...

I agree and support Pope Francis on this issue of immigration because as a Catholic this is the only way to feel and think on this issue.

The Holy Family were immigrant themselves, Christ was an immigrant when He went into Egypt and He is present in these people today so let us not forget that.

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Deoacveritati
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The Pope has taken the kid gloves off and utterly overstepped his bounds, so he has practically begged for the following criticism. He is a trashy demagogue from Latin America who is pushing something contrary to the teaching of St. Thomas...

The Pope has taken the kid gloves off and utterly overstepped his bounds, so he has practically begged for the following criticism. He is a trashy demagogue from Latin America who is pushing something contrary to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and that will incur moral hazard.

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Rick Azevedo
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