Pope Francis says he hopes Trump will re-think DACA decision

Last Updated Sep 11, 2017 11:34 AM EDT

The Pope voiced his opposition to President Trump’s decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that offered protections to young immigrants. 

According to Reuters news service, Pope Francis, who has criticized President Trump’s policies in the past, was asked by journalists aboard the papal plane returning from his overseas trip to Colombia about his reaction to the latest policy shift. 

“One hopes that is re-thought somewhat,” replied the Pontiff. 

Francis also tied DACA to the president’s claim that he’s “pro-life.”  

“[President Trump] presents himself as a pro-life man,” Francis said. “If he is a good pro-lifer, he should understand that the family is the cradle of life and you must defend its unity.”    

Francis told reporters that it was important for young people to have roots, referring to the program’s previous rulings that deferred deportations for those who arrived to the U.S. before the age of sixteen.  

During the 2016 campaign, Francis was critical of Mr. Trump’s plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying “a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

But Mr. Trump recently appeared to reassure recipients of the DACA program that they shouldn’t have concerns about their status in the United States. 

Mr. Trump tweeted that DACA recipients have “nothing to worry about” despite the fact that his administration is phasing out the program and a series of talking points advised them to self-deport.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had announced last week week that the program would be rescinded, calling it an “unconstitutional” overreach of executive authority under the Obama administration. 

The Department of Homeland Security will now be providing a six-month window for an adjudication process, during which Congress can craft their own immigration legislation to address the issue of DACA. 

On the Monday flight, Pope Francis also reignited the debate over climate change, a frequent topic of disagreement between the Pope and Mr. Trump. Francis told reporters that the science is “very clear” on climate change and that history would judge deniers.  

When asked about the recent impacts of hurricanes in Texas and Florida, he told reporters that all people, including politicians have a “moral responsibility” to take…

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