Pope Francis at Caritas: Forms of collective expulsion are unacceptable

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Pope Francis visited the Caritas headquarters in Rabat. This ecclesial organization is especially dedicated to immigrants. It is estimated that they help some 4,000 young African migrants trying to reach Europe. One example is Jackson, a young man from Cameroon. He explained to the pope that he was served by Caritas, and he now works with them.

'Today I want to pay tribute to the people who have enabled me to get here. I wish, with all my heart, that my testimony can help raise awareness for my brothers and sisters. There is no such thing as a dream country, there are simply different paths. The important thing is to always keep hope and faith.'

After the testimony, the cutest little ones presented a typical dance for the pope. 

Then the pope greeted the Archbishop of Tangier, Spanish Santiago Agrelo. He explained that the men and women who arrive in Morocco are experts in suffering. 

Archbishop of Tangier

'They, who are the most vulnerable, carry the wounds of Christ on their bodies. In them, Jesus hungers for bread and thirsts for justice. In them our Savior shudders with cold and loneliness.'

Then Pope Francis delivered an intense speech on immigration. He said that one cannot remain silent in the face of the injustices suffered by migrants and refugees.

“This is all the more the case today, when we witness many millions of refugees and other forced migrants seeking international protection, to say nothing of the victims of human trafficking and the new forms of enslavement being perpetrated by criminal organizations. No one can be indifferent to this painful situation.”

The pope also lamented that the dignity of these people seems to depend on their legal status. Thus, he called for solidarity, justice and mercy in the face of the phenomenon of migration. Therefore, he made a strong criticism of the policies of massive expulsion of immigrants.

“Forms of collective expulsion, which do not allow for the suitable treatment of individual cases, are unacceptable. On the other hand, special legalization strategies, especially in the case of families and minors, should be encouraged and simplified.”

He insisted that societies that welcome immigrants are enriched as long as they know how to protect, promote, welcome and integrate those who arrive. It is a job that Caritas carries out in Morocco and the pope wanted to thank them for it.

“You know well from experience that for Christians, 'it is not just about migrants.' It is Christ himself who knocks on our doors.”

This meeting at Caritas' headquarters in Rabat ended with more music.

Finally, each of the young immigrants was able to personally greet the pope.

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