Pope Francis encourages young US immigrants to keep dreaming


Pope Francis on Thursday encouraged young immigrants who may be affected by the Trump administration's decision to end a programme protecting them from deportation to keep dreaming.

Speaking by video hookup with young people in Texas, Puerto Rico and a handful of Latin American nations, the Pope urged all countries to welcome immigrants and for newcomers to respect the laws of the places they are living.

President Donald Trump has said he is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, programme and asked Congress to come up with an alternative.

"The first thing I want to tell you is that I'm praying for you. The second thing is to continue to dream. And find people who love you and want to defend you in this difficult moment," the Pope told the young immigrants.

DACA has protected about 800,000 people, many of them college students or young professionals, who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with family members who overstayed visas.

The Pope has already said, in response to a question about Trump's plan to end the programme, that anyone who professes to be "pro-life" should keep families together.

The Pope' comments came in a video hookup with students involved in Scholas Occurentes, a programme he developed as archbishop of Buenos Aires to encourage dialogue among youths from different countries and cultures.

As pope, the Pope has elevated the programme to a foundation of pontifical right, enabling it to enjoy the full support of the Holy See.


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