Pope Francis is criticizing President Donald Trump for his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that is separating children from their immigrant parents at the southern border.
Francis spoke with Reuters for World Refugee Day and said he supported a statement by the US Catholic bishops which condemns the policy for its “immoral” stance that is “contrary to our Catholic values.”
“I am on the side of the bishops’ conference,” Francis told Reuters. “It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution.”
Pope Francis isn’t alone in condemning Trump’s actions. Axios reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May criticized the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. She called it “wrong” and said, “the pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing.”
Even the American Medical Association has condemned Trump’s policy. The Hill posted this statement from the organization:
“Families seeking refuge in the U.S. already endure emotional and physical stress, which is only exacerbated when they are separated from one another,” it said. “It is well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last an individual’s entire lifespan.”
The UN Nations Human Rights Council also recently called on the United States to end Trump’s policy. Shortly after that statement, the USA withdrew from the council. The UN’s high commissioner called Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, “unconscionable.”
After criticizing Trump for his “zero-tolerance” policy, Pope Francis then shifted to speak about Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord while shifting U.S. focus away from climate change.
The Rest Of The World
Francis’ interview didn’t just focus on the United States. The Pope said European governments need to assist migrants who are fleeing war-torn countries. His comments seemed to pay special attention to 630 migrants who were turned away at an Italian port.
“I believe that you cannot reject people who arrive. You have to receive them, help them, look after them, accompany them and then see where to put them, but throughout all of Europe,” Francis told Reuters.
“Some governments are working on it, and people have to be settled in the best possible way, but creating psychosis is not the cure,” he added. “Populism does not resolve things. What resolves things is acceptance, study, prudence.”