On Sept. 27, Pope Francis marked the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, asking the world to pray for those forced to flee their homes at the close of a deadly week in which around 200 migrants seeking entry into Europe drowned in the Mediterranean.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died while trying to reach Europe from Africa, while thousands of others have been forcibly returned to Libya, which has received funding from the EU to train its coastguard to try and stop the crossings.
Decrying the unimaginable “hell” migrants experience in detention centers, Pope Francis urged all Christians to examine how they do or don’t help — as Jesus commanded — the people God has placed in their path.
Catholic leaders across the globe are pleading that migrants and refugees not be forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic, insisting that it’s a public health issue affecting everyone – regardless of one’s legal status.
The pontiff walked his own talk by having his “charitable right arm,” Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, bring 33 migrants from Afghanistan, Cameroon and Togo who had been stranded on the Greek island of Lesbos, back to Rome under Vatican patronage.
On September 26, the Trump administration announced that it would be cutting back on the number of refugees the nation will be accepting, limiting victims of war and persecution from seeking protection in the U.S..
During the eight hours Pope Francis spent in Mauritius, a multiethnic island nation in the Indian Ocean about 1,200 miles off the coast of Africa, he urged the inhabitants to remember their immigrant roots and to integrate those who are arriving as they were welcomed by their ancestors.
The Franciscan-run migrant shelter La 72 has welcomed a steady stream of migrants since opening its doors in 2011 in this sweaty railway terminus near the Guatemalan border.It has also endured a steady stream of harassment — from politicians and police officers, immigration officials and even organized crime — as it tended to people fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.
A searing photo of a migrant father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande River on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas has gone viral, becoming the latest flashpoint in the issue of immigration at the southern border.
The shocking images of realistic-looking dolls wrapped in emergency thermal blankets laying in small cages greeted New Yorkers during the morning commute on June 12.