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Soon to be Cardinal Montenegro, an immigration expert, reflects on Paris attacks

2015-01-20

When the Pope traveled to the island of Lampedusa, which is known across Italy for claiming the lives of thousands of immigrants, Archbishop Francesco Montenegro was at the Pope's side. He just recently found out that he will be made a cardinal on February 14th. 

FRANCESCO MONTENEGRO
Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy)
"When I found out,  it was a huge shock. I think it's not me per say who was chosen, but rather the area where I live and work.” 

His diocese is in southern Italy. In 2014, an estimated 170,000 illegal immigrants, mostly from Africa, arrived in the hopes of making it ashore. 

Immigration is now a focal international debate. After the Paris terrorism attacks, some French leaders called for tighter border measures. Specifically in regards to the Schengen Agreement, which allows one to move freely in 26 European countries, with virtually no border or visa checks. 

FRANCESCO MONTENEGRO
Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy)
"I don't agree with closing borders. I think history is following another direction. There are between 230 and 250 million immigrants in the world. If I were to close all doors and all windows, where would these people go?”

Soon to be cardinal Montenegro is the president of Italy's Foundation for Migrants. He has dedicated most of his efforts to helping migrants, who leave their war torn countries, seeking a better life. 


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