Pope Challenges US Congress on Immigrants

Pope Challenges US Congress on ImmigrantsPope Challenges US Congress on Immigrants

Pope Francis has told the US Congress that the US must see migrants as “persons” and not as “numbers”.

Speaking to a rare joint session, the pope said immigrants should be treated “with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated”, BBC reported.

He was warmly greeted by 500 lawmakers, justices and officials.

After entering the chamber to a thunderous applause, he said the world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since World War Two, and noted the immense challenges that the crisis presents.

The pope drew particular attention to the movement of migrants from Central America to the United States in search of a better life–a reference which drew a standing ovation.

“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” he said.

For years, hopes of wide-reaching immigration reform have been dashed by political disagreements in Washington.

President Barack Obama’s attempt to allow 11 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation has been stalled by a legal challenge.