Pope Francis slams politicians that spread violence and racism over immigration
© Getty

Pope Francis slammed politicians who spread fear of immigrants, calling on them to stop instigating violence and racism and instead adopt “practical measures” to welcome immigrants into their countries.

Francis wrote in a message titled “Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace,” which was sent to heads of state and government, that fear of immigrants “demeans the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God," according to Reuters.

“Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great worry for all those concerned about the safety of every human being,” he wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

The pope also said that more wealthy countries have to be compassionate toward migrants fleeing natural disasters, war, discrimination, poverty and numerous other issues.

Francis said that while immigrants can “compound numerous existing problems,” leaders have to find ways to integrate them into their countries.

“By practising the virtue of prudence, government leaders should take practical measures to welcome, promote, protect, integrate and, within the limits allowed by a correct understanding of the common good, to permit (them) to become part of a new society,” he said, according to Reuters.

The pope’s message comes as the U.S. and many European countries grapple with how to handle immigration.

Francis and President Trump have clashed over immigration before, particularly about Trump’s promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Francis said last year that Trump is “not Christian” if he wants to build the border wall. Trump quickly shot back, calling Francis’s comments “disgraceful."

The pope also said earlier this year that if Trump was “pro-life” he wouldn’t end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.