General story News

Pope asks ‘pro-life’ Trump to rethink young migrant decision

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) supporters march to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office to protest shortly after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement that DACA will be suspended with a six-month delay on Sept. 5, 2017, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis is urging President Donald Trump to rethink his decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, saying anyone who calls himself “pro-life” should keep families together.

“If he is a good pro-life believer he must understand that family is the cradle of life and one must defend its unity,” Francis said during an in-flight press conference en route home from Colombia.

Francis said he hadn’t read up on Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Children Program, which allows some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay. About 800,000 people are affected by Trump’s decision to give Congress six months to end their limbo status.

But he said in general, removing children from families “isn’t something that bears fruit for either the youngsters or their families.”

“I hope they rethink it a bit,” he said. “Because I heard the U.S. president speak: He presents himself as a person who is pro-life.”

Already the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has denounced Trump’s decision to end the DACA program, calling it “reprehensible” and placing “unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families.”

Francis has clashed previously with Trump over issues of immigration, saying that anyone who wants to build a wall as Trump does on the Mexican border to keep out migrants is “not Christian.” He has called for migrants and refugees to be welcomed and insisted on their rights to flee violence, natural disasters and poverty in search of a better life elsewhere.

On Sunday, though, he also acknowledged that countries have to manage migrant flows and make sure new migrants can be integrated into society.

In his airborne news conference, he was asked about Italy’s new policy of stopping migrant departures from Libya, which it has achieved by supporting increased Libyan coast guard patrols and backing Libya’s government in working with militias that once facilitated trafficking to now stop it.

Francis said he was grateful to both Italy and Greece for having welcomed so many migrants in. But he said governments have to manage refugee flows “with prudence,” taking into account how many people it can successfully integrate into its society.

“I have the impression that it is doing all it can with humanitarian care to also resolve the problem it cannot take on,” he said, referring to efforts to improve investments in Africa so many people don’t feel compelled to leave.

About the author

Nicole Winfield


Click here to post a comment

  • This is going to sound heartless, and perhaps it is…..if their parents had overrun a household illegally and take over someone’s household, should their children still be legally allowed to remain in the household when the parents are charged with a crime? I’m sure if they all chose to enter the US legally, no one would have difficulty with it.

  • If you had any clue of general facts you would not have to rely on terrible analogy to criminal law. Under standards for criminal law, the DREAMers would never be made to suffer penalties for acts done when they were very young and not by their own volition.

    As usual you choose to side with malice. Seeking to discard 800,000 people who, to their own detriment, placed their trust in the government in an effort to earn their place here.

    I will be unambiguous here. Trumps actions here are immoral and pointless as are the excuses for it.

  • Wait. Are you talking about Dreamers? People who’ve broken no laws themselves and are actually proving to be productive, integrated members of society, often more competitive than their ‘native’ counterparts? Because it sounds like you’re talking about the white European invaders who, starting in the 17th century, unilaterally decided they had the right to ‘overrun a household’ and proceeded to do just that.

    It is worse than heartless. It’s willfully ignorant, supportive of white supremacy, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the law. But then, that’s how the right rolls these days.

  • Yawn Spud. They are in the states illegally. If their parents are there illegally, they are there illegally.

  • Yawn, show me a single crime you can charge someone under the age of 8 or for an act one didn’t commit by their own volition?

    Bad analogy is what people use on this subject to cover up their ignorance and justify measures which are completely ridiculous.

    ” If their parents are there illegally, they are there illegally.”

    Thank you for showing us why the law (which you really don’t know about at all) as it reads is creating a problem for 800,000 people who have been willing to submit to the scrutiny of the government for five years in exchange for earning a place here. If it were a procedural/constitutional issue, then why did Republicans wait for five years to act? Because unlike Trump, they considered DACA the best of a bad situation.

    Trump is simply a bully who looks for easy targets in order to drum up support among the more malicious, uninformed and bigoted sections of society.

  • No it isn’t. Not after 5 years of submitting to government scrutiny at their own detriment in exchange for earning a place here.

    Trump is simply betraying a group of people who put their trust in our government. For what purpose exactly?

  • You know, technically you’re right & I’m wrong. They’re not citizens, and their parents brought them illegally. I was thinking mainly of the statistics:

    The most common age at arrival was eight, however almost one-third (31 percent) were five or younger and more than two-thirds (69 percent) were 10 or younger when they arrived. (source)

    The rest, however, stands. So yes, it’s heartless, remains ignorant, still supports white supremacy, and when it comes right down to it, seeking to prosecute people who’ve (on average) lived here for 10 years or more and arrived as children isn’t about the law. But I’m sure you’ll keep telling yourself it is.

  • How it supports white supremacy is beyond me JC. Is it white supremacy if someone camps on your private property without your permission. The police find out and you are told you need to leave, and you think it’s ok for your children to remain and that they have a right to remain? How that equates with white supremacy is…it does’t.
    The law factor is Obama brought this in via executive order – circumventing congress. Are you suggesting your congress should not be making laws?

  • Immigrants who apply to come to our country and receive a “yes” come with a green card. They have been screened and have submitted themselves to obeying the laws of the land. There is no process by which an illegal alien has the ability to “earn” the right to become a citizen. The first expectation of a citizen is to be law abiding. A second point: how does someone who is an illegal alien have the right to hold demonstrations against the actions of a country’s president? I don’t get that at all!

  • I wonder if you have looked up how many illegal aliens Obama arrested and deported? The illegal aliens had a name for him that was not very nice? Arresting and deporting illegal aliens has been done by many American presidents. Trump is not against immigration. He is trying to assure that American citizens have access to jobs and benefits. Our welfare rolls are overflowing with people who have come here illegally. Note: I don’t make much money, but I make enough to have some insurance coverage. Because I have insurance, I was turned down by the local Health Department for a needed Tetanus shot. However, if I didn’t have insurance and was an illegal alien, I would have gotten that shot for free. Even the Pope admits that a country has the right to limit how many immigrants are allowed into a country.

  • By the way, the problem isn’t illegal immigration. The problem is that our Immigration system is bogged down with too many problems so that it can take years for someone to apply and get a yes. Work to get the system changed so that those who have good reason to enter the country will be able to while those who have our destruction on their minds will be blocked? Then we will have true justice, right?

  • Spare me the bullcrap where you claim to have some kind of knowledge as to how our immigration system works and that this is a remotely normal situation. You are full of it if you think a “Law and order” argument even remotely applies here.

    You clearly have no desire to consider the facts of the matter and are looking for excuses to treat these people as some issue which can be easily dismissed and such people discarded. Especially after five years of letting these people submit to government scrutiny, at their own personal risk, in exchange for trying to earn their place here.

    “There is no process by which an illegal alien has the ability to “earn” the right to become a citizen.”

    And obviously that is the problem. One which should have been dealt with that didn’t involve betraying 800,000 people who put their trust in our government and want to serve our country.

    Especially for people who came here as children, not by their own volition who really know no other country but here. Especially since they have shown their worth to this nation. But clearly attacking such people is of higher priority to our president.

    So therefore someone who is not a sociopath or raging bigot would seek to find ways to keep them here and serve the country they have spent most of their lives in.

    “the first expectation of a citizen is to be law abiding.”

    So how does a child who didn’t act by their own will be considered a criminal law breaker by any reasonable standard? They don’t. So your argument is just canned bullcrap.

    But in response to your rather tone deaf ignorant remark, there is another expectation which is more primary. The duty of our government and our laws are to serve its people in a way which serves the interests of justice. If a law fails to meet such burdens it is the duty and expectation of people in a free society to change such laws so that they are. A democracy does not demand blind obedience to laws one is ignorant about. We are a nation of laws. But one which is not served by ignorance of such laws.

    ” how does someone who is an illegal alien have the right to hold demonstrations against the actions of a country’s president? I don’t get that at all!”

    Because illegal alien does not mean a person ceases to be human nor that our laws have to treat a person as a non-entity.

  • You are full of crap.

    Trump endorsed the RAISE act which seeks to limit legal immigration by half for no legitimate reason at all.

    “He is trying to assure that American citizens have access to jobs and benefits.”

    No he isn’t because legal immigration expands jobs and increases investment in our country. He is against that. He wants to cut such things by half.

    “Our welfare rolls are overflowing with people who have come here illegally”

    No it isn’t. That is garbage used to demonize illegal aliens and has zero basis in fact

    ” Because I have insurance, I was turned down by the local Health Department for a needed Tetanus shot.”

    Because your insurance would have covered it.

    “f I didn’t have insurance and was an illegal alien, I would have gotten that shot for free”

    Because the spread of tetanus is a public hazard.

  • “Work to get the system changed”

    WOW, that is some hypocritical bullcrap. The main obstacle to immigration reform are conservatives who use bigoted nativist appeals for their voter base.

    If conservatives were interested in immigration reform the DREAM act would have passed when GW Bush was in office.

  • Resident aliens do not receive welfare. The law specifically prohibits it.

    Local Health Departments are public health providers, not welfare agencies. Vaccinations are needed for all as a matter of public health. I do not know what state or local government adopted the policy which excluded you, but many have that policy because by being insured you can afford it. A carpenter who sends 3/4 of his paycheck to family in Guatemala can’t. It’s a matter of government priorities.

    I have no problem with immigration limits in the abstract, but reducing them by half at this time is inhumane.

    Mr. Trump has done nothing to increase jobs. He talks a good game, but if he was serious he would support wind and solar power where the jobs of the future are, not coal.

  • Pope Francis and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops are barking up the wrong tree. Trump did his constitutional duty of revoking an unconstitutional power grab by his predecessor, and so returning responsibility to Congress where it belongs. The pope and bishops need to focus their calls for action on Congress, not the President.

  • The Catholic formula has it that the Pope is “infallible on matters of faith and morals.” But on political matters, the man Jorge Bergoglio is just another voice in the roar of the worldly crowd.

  • Speaking of “full of crap”:

    “Because the spread of tetanus is a public hazard.”

    No it’s not — tetanus is not spread between people. There can be no tetanus “epidemics” and there are no public health concerns involved.

  • Of course it is — popularly known as “lockjaw,” it has about a 10% fatality rate — but there is no danger of “spread,” and no “public hazard,”as you incorrectly alleged against Ms Spooner.