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.
“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.