Francis attacks US president, likens his border wall to the Berlin Wall
Pope Francis has lashed out at President Donald Trump over his push to build a wall along the US Southern Border, slamming the move as “cruel” and “very sad.”
The head of the Catholic Church claims he would blast the US president to his face, saying he would confront Trump and tell him the wall will make him a “prisoner.”
The Argentinian pope, real name Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has clashed with President Trump on several occasions over migrant issues and illegal immigration.
“I don’t know what’s happening with this new culture of defending territories by building walls,” the Pope said during an interview with Mexico’s Televisa, which aired Tuesday.
“We already knew one, that (one) in Berlin, which brought so many headaches and so much suffering.”
The pope declared the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policies, along with the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, are “very sad.”
“Separating children from their parents goes against natural law, and those Christians … you can’t do it. It is cruel.
“It is among the greatest of cruelties. And to defend what?
“Territory, or the economy of a country or who knows what,” Francis continued.
According to the Daily Mail, the pope said he would tell Trump the same exact thing if they were sitting across from each other.
“The same. The same because I say it publicly,” Francis told Vatican reporter Valentina Alazraki, who is Mexican, when asked what he would say to Trump if he was sat opposite him.
“I have even said that those who build walls end up being prisoners of the walls they build.”
Trump met with the 266th pope at the Vatican in 2017 during his first official overseas trip as president.
The president has declared a humanitarian crisis at the southern border after Democrats refused to reach an agreement on wall funding.
Trump has continued to clash with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and some judges on how to fund it and has recently redirected millions in Defense Department funds to the construction of miles of the border wall.
The Trump administration implemented a zero-tolerance illegal immigration stance that increased the amount of children being separated from their parents when illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump later reversed the policy after widespread outcry, and last month, his administration denied media reports that his administration was considering reinstating the policy.
Recent reports, however, revealed that almost a third of migrants crossing the US border with children were unrelated to the child they were traveling with, according to DNA results.
After President Trump’s administration was forced to backpedal on “family separation” in the face of enormous backlash last summer, the number of family units arriving at the Southern Border has skyrocketed.
One official said the “families” were not simply cases of step-fathers or adoptive parents, rather migrants are faking family status to claim asylum in the United States.
“In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members,” the official said.
Around 30 percent of #migrants tested at the #USMexicoBorder was found to be faking family relationships with children they were traveling with, according to rapid DNA testing by #ICE.
READ MORE: https://t.co/bccBX269wi
— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) May 19, 2019
There are no future plans for Trump and the pope to meet again.
Francis was also asked about a group of ultra-conservatives within the Catholic Church who earlier this month began a signature campaign urging bishops to denounce him as a heretic over a range of topics from communion for the divorced to religious diversity.
Francis said he did not feel hurt and took it “with a sense of humor,” adding, “I pray for them because they are wrong, and, poor people, some of them are being manipulated.”