In what appeared as a veiled attack on President Donald Trump, Pope Francis condemned politicians who build walls to keep migrants out, according to The Independent.
Speaking to journalists as he returned from a trip to Morocco, the pope was answering questions about immigration when he expressed shock at the actions of politicians who were so cruel as to erect razor wire concertina-wired fences to keep out migrants.
“This is not the way to resolve the serious problem of immigration. I understand a government has a hot potato in its hands. But it has to resolve it in other ways, humanely,” he said.
The pope had a stern warning for politicians who were using walls to get their way.
“Builders of walls, be they made of razor wire or bricks, will end up becoming prisoners of the walls they build.”
This appeared to be a veiled attack on Donald Trump, who has so far failed to get the funding he deemed necessary to fulfill his campaign promise of erecting a wall on America’s southern border. The issue of undocumented immigration has once again become a centerpiece of Trump’s presidency, with the president threatening to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border if authorities in Mexico didn’t do more to stop the number of asylum-seekers making their way to the United States.
“If they don’t stop them, we are closing the border,” Trump warned. “We will close it and keep it closed for a long time. I’m not playing games.”
Those who close borders “will become prisoners of the walls that they build,” Pope Francis said as he headed home from Morocco https://t.co/dQIBX5IRXy— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) April 1, 2019
Despite Trump claiming that illegal immigrants were making their way to America in droves, recent data appears to contradict him. As reported by the Associated Press, the number of undocumented immigrants making their way to the United States has been dropping steadily over the last few years. Even so, the border security under Trump has been adamant in its efforts to send back undocumented asylum seekers, with the number of immigrants being forced back to their home countries quadrupling under Trump.
This is not the first time that Pope Francis has appeared to criticize Donald Trump for his views on immigration. In January, while speaking to youngsters during a visit to Panama, the pope compared politicians who were seeking to build walls instead of building bridges to the “devil” who wanted to “sow fear and look to divide people,” according to Fortune.
“We know that the father of lies, the devil, prefers a community divided and bickering,” he said, in what was interpreted as a message to Donald Trump.