The Pope and U.S. Immigration Policy

Pope Francis arrives in Washington today, and many advocates for amnesty and increased immigration are looking to him for political support.

Early this month Pope Francis spoke to audiences in the U.S. through a live video chat. Among the audience in McAllen, Texas, illegal immigrants were able to relay their grievances to the pontiff.

According to Spanish-news media, Latinos expect that the pope will continue the conversation on immigration during his visit to the United States later this month. A Colombian news report reads "It is unthinkable that the Pope will not speak on immigration in the United State, the country where 11 million people live in the shadows, where thousands die trying to cross the border and where whole families are broken by the deportation of undocumented migrants."

Other Spanish-language media coverage has emphasized this hope by highlighting the pontiff's image as the great advocate for immigrants. Some examples:

"[He's] the only advocate for immigrants, for Latinos."

"It is in the heart of America [Washington D.C.] where the pope comes to touch the hearts of politicians, and where he will try to convince Republicans to debate and vote on comprehensive immigration reform."

"We want the Pope, who represents the moral and spiritual values , to listen to the stories of these women, mothers and wives who are willing to make the sacrifice to walk to hear the injustices committed against undocumented immigrants."

Dreamer Moms will march to ask the Pope "for his intercession to ask the United States House of Representatives to approve an immigration reform bill that would benefit 11 million people who came to this country in order to give our children a life and a better future."

"Pope Francis has to stand up for us, has to give us a hand."

Kenneth Hackett, U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, has also expressed confidence that the Pope will speak to the subject of immigration and reiterate that the response to immigration ought to be mercy.

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