As the debate surrounding immigration has burgeoned in the United States, many are speaking out against the way in which this issue has been handled. One of the most notable, and recently, is Pope Francis, who criticed politicians in their attempts to use the immigration problem as a means of promoting fear and inciting violence in their internal populations.
Specifically, Pope Francis slammed many politicians who have attempted to go this route, claiming that the immigration issue is not one that can be solved through the instigation of violence and hatred, but rather through adopting practical and effective measures in accepting migrants who are in need of assistance.
In a letter entitled “Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace,” Pope Francis outlines the extent to which the fear of immigration has been running rampant in capable countries, and how this has become an indignity and abuse to our fellow humans. With so many nations adopting anti-immigrant rhetoric, Francis’s letter aims to shed light on the reality of the situation, and the dire situation in which the refugee problem has grown into.
‘Francis urged governments to make legal immigration easier but said that leaders should also recognise that many people move “mainly out of desperation,” when their own countries offer neither safety nor opportunity, and every legal pathway appears impractical, blocked or too slow.”‘
— Ignatian Solidarity (@IGsolidarityNET) November 25, 2017
Pope Francis has referred to the circumstances ongoing in places such as Germany, Italy, the United States, and other developed countries, as recent elections and public sentiment have followed the negative and racially-toned context which their leaders adopt. The pope believes that wealthier countries have the obligation and responsibility to show compassion for those who are attempting to escape persecution and suffering, and that racial discrimination against them is not the manner in which to solve the surmounting challenges.
— Catholic News Service (@CatholicNewsSvc) November 19, 2017
In addition to encouraging other affluent nations to open their minds and borders to the refugees who so severely require assistance, Pope Francis also indicated the need for the United Nations to take a firm and definitive stance on the current circumstances. In doing so, he urged that the institution make factors such as compassion, courage, and foresight a cornerstone of the manners in which refugees are dealt with in the global community, as the only logical and plausible pathway to make a difference. With the situation of migration and refugees becoming a major point for the UN as a whole, Francis believes the only way to make a meaningful impact is by throwing out the rhetoric of fear and violence, and adopting a policy that empowers acceptance and tolerance for all people who need it.
The pope’s comments in the letter were prepared specifically for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace, which is celebrated on January 1 of each new year. With migration being one of the top concerns among the international community, the letter was specifically designed to combat the ongoing challenges faced by refugees around the world, and in order to identify a solution that would provide a decrease in the level of pain and suffering endured by these people.
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