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Pope Francis issues message on plight of child migrants in Mexico

Catholic World News - July 15, 2014

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, traveled to Mexico City for conversations with Mexican government officials on international migration and development, and Pope Francis has issued a message for the occasion.

The message, dated July 11, was released by the Holy See Press Office on July 15.

“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,” Pope Francis wrote.

“It is a phenomenon that carries with it great promise and many challenges,” he added. “Many people 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.”

After calling upon all to abandon “attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization-- all typical of a throwaway culture” and adopt “attitudes based on a culture of encounter,” the Pope turned to the plight of unaccompanied migrant children in Mexico:

I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: this is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself 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. They are increasing day by day.

This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. 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. Finally, this challenge demands the attention of the entire international community so that new forms of legal and secure migration may be adopted.

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  • Posted by: FredC - Jul. 16, 2014 11:50 AM ET USA

    Migration as a terrorism threat is real, but should the U.S. import all of the children from South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, etc., places worse than Mexico? Immigrants must be assimilated into the U.S. society. The assimilation rate is not infinite, so immigration must be limited, especially because unemployment is so high. The desire to emigrate will end when criminal governments, foreign and domestic, end -- when sin ends.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Jul. 16, 2014 7:47 AM ET USA

    I would also like to see the Pope address the right and duty for nations to protect themselves from terrorists who enter porous borders. Not that the kids are bad, but an open border is a national security threat. Too many bishops (including the Bishop of Rome) are tone deaf to national security issues.

  • Posted by: MAG - Jul. 16, 2014 6:05 AM ET USA

    Perhaps the Holy Father and his brother bishops would be so bold as to chastise the governments using these children as pawns in a manufactured crisis.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 15, 2014 5:01 PM ET USA

    While I believe we can all endorse the pope's thoughts about the huge influx of immigrant children, it would be nice to see some more specific recommendations concerning policies.

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