Francis proclaimed, “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.”

Emmer McCarthy for Vatican Radio said Francis expressed his concern for “the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence.” He further sympathized, saying that “this is a category of migrants… 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.” The Pope added that the amount of those willing to take the dangerous journey “are increasing day by day.”

The Argentinean pontiff claims that the illegal immigrants are “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.”