Addressing the Mexico-Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development through a letter this week, Pope Francis weighed in on the situation unfolding on the American border, where thousands of unaccompanied, undocumented children have been detained. Many of the children are from Central American countries and have made the journey to the United States alone. Pope Francis urged the international community to have compassion for the children “who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence,” remembering that they made the journey “in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain.”
This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin.