Immigration

Pope Francis signals to Trump: ‘If you build walls, you will become a prisoner of those walls’

This Sunday, Pope Francis took aim at the immigration policies of governments around the world and called for a more compassionate approach.

“Those who build walls will become prisoners of the walls they put up,” Francis said while speaking to reporters while flying to Rome after a visit to Morocco. “This is history.”

When asked about the America and Spain’s plans to build walls and fences to keep out migrants, Francis said he wept when a journalist showed him a piece of concertina wire from the border of Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta.

Francis’s comments aren’t the first time he’s spoken out against hawkish immigration policies. As CNN points out, earlier this year the Pope spoke in Panama, saying that governments that build walls “sow fear.”

At one point during Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign, Francis said that his promises of a US-Mexico border wall were “not Christian.”

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian,” Francis said in 2016. “This is not the gospel.”

While making his comments Sunday, Francis acknowledged that the immigration debate is a “hot potato,” but added that “it must be resolved differently, humanely, not with razor wire.”

Speaking to Moroccan leaders the day before, the Pope said that physical barriers won’t solve the world’s immigration problems, which should instead be addressed by solving economic imbalances.

“With fear, we will not move forward, with walls, we will remain closed within these walls,” he said on Sunday.

Featured image: Martin Schulz/Flickr

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