Ever since he became the head of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, Pope Francis has been an outspoken advocate of open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens. Thus it was unsurprising that, when Donald Trump recently announced his plan to take a far weaker stance than he had previously pledged to take vis-à-vis former President Obama’s DACA executive order, Francis complained that even Trump’s watered-down proposal was excessively harsh. DACA, you may recall, granted hundreds of thousands of young illegal aliens temporary legal status, work permits, access to certain publicly funded social services, and protection from deportation. Trump’s latest plan is to wind down the program over the next six months, and thereby give Congress time “to legalize DACA” in the form of legislation that he can sign. “I am not going to just cut DACA off,” says Trump, “but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act.” Trump’s proposal also allows any DACA recipients whose permits are slated to expire before March 5, 2018, an opportunity to apply for a two-year renewal. But even this weak approach by Trump is too much for Pope Francis to accept, because, the pontiff explains, it will “remov[e] young people from their family.” Noting that Trump “presents himself as a pro-life man,” Francis adds: “If he is a good pro-lifer, he should understand that the family is the cradle of life and you must defend its unity.”
A look back at Pope Francis’s track record shows just how consistently he has advocated a loosening of border protections not only in the United States, but throughout the Western world.
In July 2013, Francis urged an open-door policy for the many thousands of Muslim migrants from Tunisia and Libya who, fleeing the violence in their respective homelands, were boarding unstable, overcrowded boats and attempting to reach the island of Lampedusa—Italy’s southernmost territory—across the Mediterranean Sea. He impugned Europeans for having “lost a sense of brotherly responsibility” to these “brothers and sisters of ours,” but said nothing about any negative ramifications that such a massive, sudden influx of unvettable foreigners might have on Italian society.
In July 2014, when scores of thousands of Central American minors were migrating illegally into the southern United States, Francis decried the situation as a “humanitarian emergency” which required, “as a first urgent measure,” that “these children be welcomed and protected”—at American taxpayer expense. Moreover, he characterized America’s treatment of illegal immigrants generally as “racist and xenophobic.”
In January 2015, Francis told reporters that, as “a beautiful gesture of brotherhood and support for immigrants,” he hoped to someday ceremoniously “enter the United States from the border with Mexico.”
During a September 2015 visit to the United States, Francis referred to illegal aliens as “pilgrims,” and to “offer them the warmth of the love of Christ” because they “will enrich America and its Church.”
On January 17, 2016, Francis delivered a message for The World Day of Migrants and Refugees. He emphasized how important it was for Western nations to shed their own impulses toward “discrimination, racism, extreme nationalism or xenophobia,” and to welcome migrants and refugees from Islamic countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The cultural exchanges brought about by such migrations, he explained, had the potential to “transfor[m] the whole of humanity” in a positive way.
In February 2016, Francis visited Mexico and lamented the “humanitarian crisis” on America’s southern border. Just prior to celebrating a Mass before a crowd of some 200,000 people along the banks of the Rio Grande, the pontiff faced a number of makeshift crosses that had been erected in memory of migrants who had died attempting to cross into the United States, and he prayed for those people. He then turned toward a group of several hundred illegal aliens standing across the river in El Paso, Texas, and issued his blessing to them. Later, when the pope was returning to Rome, reporters asked him to comment on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, who had spoken forcefully about the need to deport illegals and to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Francis replied: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel.”
During his _Urbi et Orbi_ address from St. Peter’s Basilica on Easter Sunday 2016, Francis urged Christians to reach out to the unvettable refugees from Syria, Libya, and Yemen, and to fight the “blind and brutal violence” of terrorism with “weapons of love.”
On July 27, 2016, Francis urged the political leaders of Poland to “overcome fear” and to demonstrate “great wisdom and compassion” by welcoming the many Muslims who were fleeing conflict and hardship in places like Syria and North Africa. “All religions want peace, it’s the others who want war…. Needed is a spirit of readiness to welcome those fleeing from wars and hunger, and solidarity with those deprived of their fundamental rights, including the right to profess one’s faith in freedom and safety.”
In September 2016, Pope Francis said that authentic European hospitality to Middle Eastern and North African refugees could be “our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.” “I encourage you to welcome refugees into your homes and communities,” he added, “so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm welcome.”
Pope Francis never misses an opportunity to preach compassion for Third World migrants whose backgrounds are completely shrouded in mystery, and who seek to flood Western nations with people whose cultures may be highly incompatible those of the West. Yet he says little, if anything, about the needs of the citizens of Western nations whose lives and well-being may be endangered by the very “compassion” which he advocates.