Pope Francis Calls for Safety of Child Migrants

Pope Francis Calls for Safety of Child Migrants July 15, 2014


Pope Francis did the obvious, pastoral thing today when he called for governments to assure the safety of unaccompanied child migrants. He specifically asked the Mexican government to step up in this area.

He also made the observation that migration is a component of globalization, and that it is happening worldwide, however governments continue to respond to it as if it was a localized problem. I had not of America’s immigration situation in the context of globalization. I have certainly considered it in terms of American factories and corporations, operating south of the border. I have also given thought to the effects NAFTA has had in exacerbating this situation.

But I had not considered that the obvious fact that this is happening all over the world and is, in fact, a single phenomena with particular causes that apply across the hemispheres. I am going to think more about this, and will probably write more about it in time.

Pope Francis also called for development in the countries from which these children are coming. I have believed for a long time that if we want to fix our immigration problem, we need to stop exploiting our neighbors to the South and find ways to aid their development.

Meanwhile, it’s enough that our wise and wonderfully pastoral pope has given us a direction to follow as Christians. Whatever else we do, however we decide to deal with this situation in terms in the broader scope, these are children. We need to remember that and behave accordingly.

From Vatican Radio:

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a message to the “Mexico/Holy See Colloquium on Migration and Development”, urging protection for tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who are migrating North from Central America and Mexico in increasing numbers.

The Holy Father’s letter was read to conference participants by Apostolic Nuncio Christophe Pierre.  The conference was also attended by the Vatican’s secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin. In his message Pope Francis writes that globalization has rendered migration a “hallmark” of society today.

Despite this it is still seen as an emergency or as a circumstantial phenomenon.

Above all, the Pope’s thoughts go to “the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence”.  He says, “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”.

He notes that the numbers of children undertaking this hazardous journey “are increasing day by day”. Pope Francis calls for “the international community to pay attention to this challenge” and for measures to be taken by the countries involved. These include policies to inform the public of the dangers of the trip north and to promote development of the migrants’ countries of origin.

US authorities have detained some 57,000 unaccompanied minors since October, twice the number from the same period a year ago. Mexican authorities have picked up 8,000 child migrants in the first five months of the year, and more than half of them were traveling by themselves.

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26 responses to “Pope Francis Calls for Safety of Child Migrants”

  1. ” I have believed for a long time that if we want to fix our immigration problem, we need to stop exploiting our neighbors to the South and find ways to aid their development.”
    Rebecca, I am kinda confused by this statement for several reasons.
    First, I believe we need to deal with this crisis humanely. Second, we really need to find a way to regularize the undocumented here who have been here with established lives for a long time. All this, one step at a time. I do not trust any comprehensive bill.
    I don’t understand your statement above. In the ’40’s and after, we had the Bracero Program in the US. That program built the middle class in Mexico and allowed poor, uneducated campesinos to do labor we needed and they did anyway to make cash. They invested that cash in land, houses, businesses and education for their children. It changed the face of Mexico, loosing a lot of very humble people from the oligarchy and corrupt government. At the same time Mexico was nationalizing their own industries and prohibiting foreign capital investment.
    We have done the same with laborers from other countries further south.
    Our industry has built a lot of maquiladoras in the border region which also have provided work. I know you do not approve of the US exporting these jobs, but it has happened.
    I could go through country by country how much money in aid we have poured into each of these countries, but don’t think there is any point.

    The problem in these countries is corruption at every level, sometimes even involving the Church. It goes from the very poorest to the very richest and has lead to the with the drug cartels for money. I’m really glad to see Pope Francis address Mexico and other countries directly. We need that because it the only hope for these countries and for the people. They need to be liberated, an exceedingly difficult task if the countries involved are not interested. It is easier for them to send their people to the piñata in the north.

  2. The answer to your comment would take several posts Anne. I’ll think about it and put it together with the Holy Father’s statement and see what I can do. 🙂

  3. Me too.

    “Have I mentioned how much I love this pope? Of course, I was pretty wild about the two before him.”

  4. It’s not exactly accurate to frame the issue as “we did all we could for them and they’re just corrupt.”

    For well over a century, our foreign policy in Latin America has been to take them for everything they are worth, and that came on the heels of Europe doing just that for several centuries previous. From the Banana wars down to the Maquiladoras and our immigration non-policies, the name of the game has been to use Latin America as near-slave labor, plantations and natural resources. We didn’t invent corruption there, but we encouraged it at every level where it suited our purpose, propping up corrupt and even vicious leaders who did our bidding and overthrowing democracies whose policies or politics we felt would inconvenience us.

    We flooded the place with weapons to fight our proxy Cold War battles and the the Drug Wars. Our insane policies of prohibition are just about the most efficient corruption generator on the planet. Our “aid” to these countries is less grounded in humanitarian concerns than as tools of leverage to secure monopolies and favorable terms for multinational corporations.

    What shakes out of all of this is that you have governments in these countries who only answer to a dozen or so families and overseas interests, drug gangs who answer to no one and who increasingly kill for sport as much as profit. The other 90% of the population have no way out but North.

  5. Drug trafficking, especially of cocaine, should get figured into any serious consideration of the poverty and violence in Central America. The United States is the most lucrative market for the Mexican and Central American drug traffickers and smugglers, followed by Europe. This is what has fueled the rise of the criminal families and gangs that are devastating the region, and there are reports that they have also gotten involved in the human trafficking that is bringing these child migrants across the southern border.
    That being said, I’m glad that Pope Francis reminded Mexico and other countries of their role in protecting these children, in light of the dangerous conditions under which they are being transported here. The people who are doing the transporting are doing it for money, and since they reportedly are paid before the trip begins, they have no interest in the safety of their “passengers.” The children are unprotected, and can be easily exploited. There are some disturbing stories out there.

  6. Globalization is the key to understanding this issue. The key to understanding globalization in this debate is the fact that borders are now a completely artificial construct with no meaning whatsoever to the 1% (or perhaps 5%) who matter and run things. Nations have no inherent meaning to corporations, which we have given full status as legal “persons”.

    They are not constrained in any way by borders. They can choose at will which country to formally exist in, even if almost all of their workforce and facilities are elsewhere. To just cite one recent example, Walgreens decided it wants to be Swiss, for the tax rate there. They’re not closing down here and setting up new stores on every other corner in Zurich. The corporate person of “Walgreen’s” is just issuing itself a new passport through the stroke of a pen. Look up “inversion” sometime. Nations, borders, and their laws are nothing more to corporations than sets of rules for their lawyers and accountants to figure out how to evade and capitalize upon. The same is largely true for wealthy and highly skilled individuals.

    For the top cut of the economic castes the world over, everything – money, labor, operating and regulatory conditions – all flow completely independent of borders. The only people who worry about borders are militaries, immigration activists on one side or another, and the world’s poor and working class shmoes (most of us), who can’t so easily transcend geography by above-board means. The world’s present economic model says that borders are for suckers, and the only way to prosperity or even survival is to find a way around them. Whatever our views on the current refugee/immigrant wave, we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s happening.

  7. First of all, I fail to understand how NAFTA has exascerbated the situation. If anything it has provided jobs south of our border. But as to our Holy Father, what’s up with his logic? He finds it in himself to support people illegally crossing borders but he can’t castigate the parents of these children who in their irresponsibility have let their children take on unbelievable risks? Life and death risks? What kind of parents are these? Where is their morality and why isn’t our Pope pointing out how immoral these parents are? I find this atrocious.

  8. Rebecca comes fom the side of the Democratic Party that sees any business interaction as “an exploitation.” If anything we have provided jobs and construction south of the border. Capitlaism helps people. It doesn’t exploit them. Exploitation when it comes to business is child’s terminology.

  9. It is just a matter of scale. Now, instead of being tribal, municipal or village, the economies are global. I don’t think your cynicism even presents a possible solution and you didn’t identify the “problem.”

  10. Yes. A huge and important factor, the drug trafficking and money corrupts everything. The Columbians were very brave in dealing with these people. Many of the leaders laid down their lives in the fight. I do not see. The leaders in Central America and Mexico doing that. It frightens me.

  11. Kenofken, the only people I hear saying the US has taken advantage of LA to our benefit and their detriment are academics and Leftists. That is an Anglocentric view that is largely incorrect.
    Did you know that US companies built whole industries, facilities like ports and infrastructure like roads, railroads, schools and hospitals that benefitted the whole population.
    They didn’t do everything as NGO’s, but they are profit making companies.
    Near slave labor? No. I know lots of those people and they worked for money.
    We did try to influence their politics, about like it is being done now by both parties here. It think that’s just politics. We weren’t always right in the way we did it.
    The whole arms thing is way too complicated to get into here and your explanations are simplistic. These are not simple people. They are smart and have their own agendas, some of which certainly include taking as much of the gringos money as possible.
    There are not a dozen or so families. That was the case 100 years ago, in El Salvador, sorta. What changed all that was international investment from Europe and the US which gave a lot of families the ability to build businesses.

  12. In short, Kenofken, these problems cannot be solved at all if they do not deal with the problem of corruption.
    Take a look at Venezuela. Very similar situation where we have had no input for over 75 years.

  13. Not true Manny. Not by a long shot. I support capitalism. I do not support corporatism. I don’t want to debate this now — no time, wrong place — but I’m going to write about it a lot more. You and I can argue then. Luv ya, even if you are wrong a lot of the time. 🙂

  14. Just trying to get your attention. 😛 I assume so but you used the word “exploitation.” What does corporatism have to do with exploitation? Corporations actually provide very good jobs with healthcare and retirement. I can understand corporatism being taking corporate welfare. Exploitation is an anti capitalist term.

  15. “…the only people I hear saying the US has taken advantage of LA to our benefit and their detriment are academics and Leftists.”

    That means you haven’t talked to any actual Latin Americans.

  16. That nature of the problem should be quite obvious in the context of what I have described. The problem – or situation, if you prefer, is that the new world economy has made traditional nation states and borders completely irrelevant to the way it operates. That economy, by design, does not work for billions of the world’s people. There is no other rational way to explain the sorts of mass movements we see in the latest immigration crises. They are symptoms of the underlying condition, and they are absolutely inevitable unless and until we address that condition.

  17. You’ve got corporatists confused with capitalists. Corporatism is the control of government by the corporations. It is always, in the long run, to the detriment of the people. It is also, always, to the detriment of capitalism.

    Another name for corporatism is fascism. (Check your Economics 101 textbook) In Germany in the 1930s, it took the form of government controlling business. Today, in America, it operates as corporate interests controlling government. What Eisenhower was referencing with the “military industrial complex” is one aspect of it, only that was before it really locked on.

    The American people have been sold the lie that this is “conservatism.” It is nothing of the sort. True conservatism is a healthy balance against equally healthy liberalism. Both liberalism and conservatism are defunct in the American political world today. What we actually are faced with is a conflict between nihilism posing as liberalism and corporatism, posing as conservatism.

    What I favor is for the government to be for, of and by the people. I think government should respond to the needs of the people and common good of the citizens of the country it governs.

    At times healthy government is persuaded by the arguments of corporate interests, at times by the arguments of labor, and at other times by the arguments of neither. When government becomes the puppet of special interests — or in this case, the totally owned puppet of corporate interests — that’s very bad and corrupt.

    I’m not just talking here Manny. I’ve seen how completely corporate interests can control government and use the power to destroy their competitors, grant themselves endless corporate welfare and raid the public treasury.

  18. That would take a bit of info gathering. I’m going to post on this more. I’ll try to get something together for us to argue about for that. 🙂

  19. Kenofken, there have always been migrations. Nothing new since antiquity. Economies change, nothing new there either. You just want to blame everything on big corporations. They are not blameless nor are they altruistic. One thing that has happened for the good is that people in a lot of places used to have the choice of farm work on a subsistence level now have other, safer and productive work while farm work is more efficient and people die of malnutrition not because of famine but because of politics.

  20. Rebecca, I agree with you to a large extent. I don’t think this is any different from the Middle Ages when the cronies were the aristocracy who royalty needed to maintain their positions. One thing you may have missed is the crony techies and watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside) who are catered to by this administration. There is no monopoly on corruption, corporate or otherwise.
    Problem is, if our government officials do not voluntarily obey laws we end up in the same spot as Mexico.

  21. Kok, you are very mistaken. I have lived in Latin America for a lot of my adult life. I know families, several generations, of Mexicans, Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans along with occasional Argentines, Cubans, Chileans, Brazilians, I could go on, for years, very well. I speak fluent Spanish, some Portuguese and keep in touch with politics in several countries south of us.
    You, on the other hand, must be talking to academics who have a very leftist viewpoint, especially in the US. And, no the US has not “taken” anything, as I said above. I could go through point by point, but I doubt you are interested in widening your point of view.

  22. The Pope is pushing the anti-White agenda of international jewry. He wants to Italy turned to Africa and the Americas transformed in to one giant open air prison full of mixed race slum dwellers. He is no different from even the most hardcore talmudic zionists, perhaps even worse since he thinks he’s doing good.