Pope Francis donating $500K to help migrants in Mexico
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Pope Francis has donated $500,000 to assist migrants in Mexico, the Vatican said on Saturday. 

"This amount will be distributed among 27 projects in 16 dioceses and among Mexican religious congregations that have asked for help in order to continue providing housing, food and basic necessities to these our brothers and sisters," the Vatican said in a statement

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The Vatican said the pope made the donation after taking into account the struggles of thousands of migrants in the past year. 

"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," the Vatican said, adding later that "aid to migrants by the government and private individuals has also decreased."

The Vatican noted in its statement that about 75,000 people from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been "stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood."

It added that the Catholic Church has hosted thousands of migrants in hotels within dioceses or congregations. It also said that 13 projects had already been approved to receive the donations. 

Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken out about President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE's policies and rhetoric on immigration. He said earlier this month that "those who build walls will become prisoners of the walls they put up," an apparent reference to Trump's long-sought border wall.