Pope criticizes family separations: ‘Populism is not the answer’

Pope criticizes family separations: ‘Populism is not the answer’
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Pope Francis in a recent interview condemned the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" immigration policy, which is forcing children to be separated from their families at the southern border.

“It’s not easy, but populism is not the solution,” the pope told Reuters.

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Francis told the news service that he backs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The group's president said last week that the policy is "immoral."

“Let it be clear that in these things, I respect [the position of] the bishops conference,” the pope told the news outlet.

His comments come as the Trump administration faces an onslaught of backlash over the separations. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized the policy and called for action over the separations.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE in April instructed the Justice Department to prioritize the criminal prosecution of individuals trying to unlawfully cross the border.

The Associated Press reported this month that approximately 2,000 children had been removed from their families in recent weeks.

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump defends indicted GOP congressman House to vote Thursday on holding Bannon in contempt Youngkin calls for investigation into Loudoun County School Board amid sexual assault allegations MORE, however, has repeatedly blamed Democrats for his administration's policy.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday expressed support for an immigration bill that would end the separation of children from their families at the border. The House is expected to vote on two immigration bills on Thursday.

--Updated at 7:40 a.m.