>> The Pope joined criticism of the Trump Administration's policy of separating families at the Mexican border while sending a message to global leaders about the dangers of populism on World Refugee Day. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Pope Francis said he supported recent statements by US Catholic Bishops.
Who called for the separation of children from their parents contrary to our Catholic values and immoral. Speaking at his Vatican residence he said, I am on the side of the Bishops Conference.>> Let the children go.>> His comments add to the pressure of President Trump over immigration policy.
The President has strongly defended his Administration's actions. And cast political blame for the family separations on Democrats. The US crackdown reflects the picture in western Europe, over the arrival of large numbers of migrants and asylum seekers, most of them escaping conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.
In the interview, released on World Refugee Day, Francis spoke at length on the issue of immigration and said populists were, quote, creating psychosis on the issue. Adding that, it's not easy, but populism is not the answer. In a tweet on Wednesday, he said we encounter Jesus in those who are poor, rejected, or refugees.
Do not let fear get in the way of welcoming our neighbor in need. In recent days, Italy's government refused port access to ships outside its control, being used to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean. Eventually took in hundreds of asylum seekers left to drift for days. European leaders are set to meet this week to discuss migration with German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushing for a Europe-wide solution.
Her own government is under threat with differences over immigration continuing to plague her relationship with conservative allies from Bavaria.