U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent travels along the border fence March 28 between U.S. and Mexico near Tecate, California. (CNS/Reuters/Mike Blake)
Pope Francis has donated 500,000 dollars to assist migrants in Mexico.
The funds, from the Peter’s Pence collections, will be distributed among 27 projects promoted by sixteen Mexican dioceses and religious congregations, which requested assistance in continuing to provide food, lodging, and basic necessities to the migrants.
US border closed
According to a statement from Peter’s Pence, “In recent months, thousands of migrants have arrived in Mexico, having travelled more than 4,000 kilometres on foot and with makeshift vehicles from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Men and women, often with young children, flee poverty and violence, hoping for a better future in the United States. However, the US border remains closed to them.”
Diminished aid and media coverage
In particular, the aid is intended to assist the more than 75,000 people who arrived in Mexico in 2018, in six migrant caravans. “All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood”, the statement reads. “The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in hotels within the dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing”.
Although a great deal of attention was focused on the caravans at the time, the Peter’s Pence statement notes that “media coverage of this emergency has been decreasing, and as a result, aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased”.
Transparent use of donations
The statement from Peter’s Pence insists that “a regulated and transparent use of the resources, which must be accounted for, is required before the aid is assigned”. It notes that thirteen projects have already been approved, with another fourteen currently being evaluated.
“Thanks to these projects”, the statement concludes, “and thanks to Christian charity and solidarity, the Mexican Bishops hope to be able to continue helping our migrant brothers and sisters”.