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‘Welcome, protect’ the migrant children, pope tells U.S.

“I would … like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself 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,” Pope Francis has said in a letter to a global conference in Mexico. ”They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.”

But he also asks for an information campaign aimed at the children and their parents and tells the countries of Central America to do more to stop the suffering: “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.”

To read the pope’s letter in full, go here.

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