Tags: Pope Francis | Pope Francis | Stand | Migrants | US-Mexico | Border

Pope Francis Set to Take a Stand With Migrants on US-Mexico Border

Image: Pope Francis Set to Take a Stand With Migrants on US-Mexico Border
(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 09:28 AM

Pope Francis is set to arrive in Mexico on Friday for a six-day visit that will conclude with the pontiff taking a stand on the U.S. border to show solidarity with the migrants trying to cross it — an act that could be seen as controversial in the height of a vigorous political season where immigration has become a hot-button issue, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The pope is planning to hold a cross border mass in Ciudad Juarez on Feb. 17 where on the Mexican side, some 200,000 people are expected to attend as well as 50,000 in Texas, just across the Rio Grande.

"This is one community despite the fence," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters on Tuesday. "I think it will be moving to see this single community even though it is located on two sides of the border."

However, Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have vowed to not only build a wall along the nearly 2,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexican border, but also deport up to 11 million illegal migrants form the U.S.

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is not the first time Pope Francis, the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, has advocated for migrant rights.

In his September speech to the U.S. Congress, he urged lawmakers to identify with migrants' hopes for a better life and asked, "Is this not what we want for our own children?" the Wall Street Journal reports.

The pope's visit to Mexico comes at a time when numbers of migrants — especially children — are increasing and hopeful to seek refuge in the U.S.

"There is an urge to flee, because of the very asphyxiation that people feel," said Verónica Reyna, a psychologist with a Catholic Church-linked group working on violence reduction in a gang-plagued suburb of San Salvador.

"In El Salvador, there is a constant paranoia, a permanent fear."

Just before the mass, the pope will ride along the U.S.-Mexican border offering a prayer for migrants, including those escaping violence and gangs in Central America and even those who are fleeting war in the Middle East.

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Pope Francis is set to arrive in Mexico on Friday for a six-day visit that will conclude with the pontiff taking a stand on the U.S. border to show solidarity with the migrants trying to cross it - an act that could be seen as controversial in the height of a vigorous...
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2016-28-10
Wednesday, 10 Feb 2016 09:28 AM
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