Pope says open borders to refugees

Pope Francis is challenging countries to open borders to refugees and put asylum seekers’ safety over national security concerns.

His challenge to politicians, made in a detailed position paper on migrants and refugees, is at odds with the policies various governments have introduced to deal with growing anti-immigrant sentiment.

Francis isn’t just tackling the movement of refugees through borders. Health services, education, pension plans, a minimum amount to live on and the ability to open bank accounts are also necessary, he points out.

In his opinion, strong border protection policies need to be rethought.

“For the sake of the fundamental dignity of every human person, we must strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation.’’

In particular, he says “children must be spared from any form of detention related to migratory status, and must be guaranteed regular access to primary and secondary education.

“Equally, when they come of age they must be guaranteed the right to remain and to enjoy the possibility of continuing their studies. Temporary custody or foster programs should be provided for unaccompanied minors and minors.”

Francis also wants to encourage “a determined effort to promote the social and professional inclusion of migrants and refugees, guaranteeing for all — including those seeking asylum — the possibility of employment, language instruction and active citizenship, together with sufficient information provided in their mother tongue.”


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News category: World.

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