Catholic World News

In-flight interview: Pope hopes Trump will reconsider immigration policy

September 11, 2017

Pope Francis said that he hopes American President Donald Trump will reconsider ending a federal policy that allows the children of illegal immigrants to remain in the US, during a question-and-answer session with reporters on his flight back to Rome on September 11, after a visit to Colombia.

In what has become his usual pattern, the Pontiff spent about 40 minutes with reporters on the flight, answering questions on climate change, the crisis in North Korea, Italian immigration policy, and other topics.

When questioned about Trump’s decision to end the DACA program—a decision that has drawn loud criticism from American bishops—the Pope said that he understood Trump claims to be pro-life. “If he is pro-life,” the Pope said, “he understands the importance of family and life: the unity of the family must be defended.” Since the end of DACA could break up families, the Pontiff said, he hoped Trump would reconsider his plan.

When one reporter asked a question about climate change—suggesting that the recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico were proof of that trend—the Pope replied at length, saying that anyone who is skeptical about climate change should consult with scientists. “They speak very clearly,” the Holy Father said. He went on to mention a report that a Russian ship had cross the North Pole without noticing any ice. The Pope said that “we all have a moral responsibility” to consider how the climate is affected by our actions.

Questioned about North Korea, Pope Francis said that he did not understand the nature of the crisis. But he indicated that he was inclined to see the crisis in the same perspective that he has used to analyze other geopolitical conflicts, as clashes of economic interests. In the case of North Korea, he said that “I believe that there is a struggle of interests that escapes me.”

During his stay in Colombia the Pope had spoken frequently about the need for reconciliation. Questioned about the political conflict in neighboring Venezuela, he once again declined to join that country’s bishops in direct criticism of President Nicolas Maduro. “What Maduro says, Maduro should explain,” the Pope said. Regarding his own stand on the nation’s conflict, he said: “I believe that the Holy See has spoken loudly and clearly.”

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  • Posted by: unum - Sep. 13, 2017 6:24 AM ET USA

    U.S. law does not attack family unity as the holy Father has implied. The U.S. has always held that children should be with their parents. In the case where Mexican parents break U.S.law by illegally crossing our border, and then a child is born with American citizenship as a result of that illegal act, the family should be returned to Mexico when apprehended. Should the parents choose to leave the child in the U.S. with others, that is a choice, not a result of U.S. law.

  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Sep. 13, 2017 12:51 AM ET USA

    From Pope Francis mouth to God's ear!

  • Posted by: feedback - Sep. 12, 2017 8:24 AM ET USA

    It is quite discouraging to hear the Pope being critical of Trump's pro-life policies. His initiatives are actually saving real human lives from abortions across the world. Trump also protects, like no other politician or prelate, American Christians from real threats to religious liberty.