Tens of thousands of visitors are in D.C. this week for Pope Francis’s address before Congress — and many of them are hoping the Pope’s message of dignity and compassion for immigrants touches the hearts of stubborn Republican lawmakers.
Among these sojourners are immigrant leaders from Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional, who traveled from Los Angeles, CA to D.C. for the Pope’s historic visit.
In two videos below, group member Alicia discusses her hopes for the Pope’s visit –that the Pontiff is able to sway Congress on immigration and combat the toxic rhetoric from Republicans — as well as the group’s role in getting Jersey Vargas to the Vatican to ask Pope Francis to help stop her dad’s deportation:
“We are here in Washington to greet the Pope and ask he help us move the hearts of members of Congress so they can pass legalization, immigration reform. But, we also ask he immediately help rescue the DAPA program. Many people are suffering.
Last year, in 2014, we went to Rome. We took the young girl, Jersey Vargas, so she could talk to him and ask him to stop her dad’s deportation. We knew President Obama was going to meet with him, but immigration reform was not on the agenda. After we were with the Pope, we were able to add the topic of immigration to his agenda.
So one more time, we are here to send a message to the Pope.
We know he has the power to move hearts, to move the hearts of members of Congress who do not want to pass immigration reform for the 11 million who are living in the shadows, in fear, but most of all for the children, many of whom are American citizens, who are living in fear that their parents, they’ll get home from school and their parents won’t be home.
That’s why we’re here.”