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Days from Pope Francis’s visit to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, members from Border Network For Human Right have placed a #ImmigrantLivesMatter sign on a portion of the border fence between El Paso and Juarez.
The Pontiff will hold mass in the border city on February 18th — the last full day of his highly-anticipated return to the Americas — and is expected to walk by foot to the nearby Rio Grande in a sign of solidarity with immigrants. He will also pray for all the migrants who have lost their lives attempting to cross the border.
“About 400 to 500 migrants have died every year trying to enter the country through the desert and other treacherous terrain,” notes the El Paso Times.
Advocates from Border Network For Human Right have also penned a letter to Pope Francis to be released during his visit, and the sign the group placed on the border fence is visible from both sides of the border. Much like his visit last year to the United States, advocates expect the Pope to address the issue of immigrants and immigration reform.
“It’s something that we want to bring awareness to now that the Pope is coming,” Executive Director Fernando Garcia said.
“The lives of immigrants matter. We have suffered waves and waves of xenophobic attacks, family persecution and separation of our families, and now that the pope is coming with a message of hope and peace, we think the lives of immigrants of the United States and the whole world need to be included in that message.”