Pope Francis is the first pope in 1,000 years to have been born outside Europe – in Argentina. It is his compassion towards immigrants that couldn’t stop him from letting the security not allow a young girl to meet him during the parade.
Sophie Cruz, 5, whose parents are undocumented immigrants, bypassed the barricades during the papal parade in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. Initially stopped by the security, the pope asked that she be allowed to approach the popemobile. Cruz handed him a yellow t-shirt, a drawing and a letter in which she had expressed her fears that her parents could be deported.
The drawing can be viewed here.
According to the Associated Press, Sophie had written in her letter, “I believe I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy. My dad works very hard in a factory galvanizing pieces of metal. All immigrants just like my dad feed this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect.”
Last year, another young girl from Los Angeles had approached the pope St. Peter’s Square. Jersey Vargas, 11, had traveled to Italy to help her father who had been taken into custody by the US immigration. “I told him please help my dad because he is gonna be deported and it’s unfair that millions of children are also suffering in my same situation,” she recounted, as reported by CBS News. “He kissed me on my forehead and he told me he was gonna talk with the president.” Soon thereafter, Vargas’ father was released.
American born Sophie had traveled to Washington with an advocacy group, Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional. As reported by the New York Daily News, Gloria Saucedo, director of the group, said that the trip had been organized for six children and 19 adults. “My dad works very hard in a factory galvanizing pieces of metal,” Sophie said. “All immigrants just like my dad feed this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect.”
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