Pope Francis’ message to Congress Wednesday urged politicians to see immigrants as people, to see their faces and hear their stories. This message rang true for Jessica Azua, who was leading a protest that afternoon in an attempt to convince Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reconsider his stance on an immigration-related lawsuit in which his state has taken the lead.
“We want to take this message to Gregg Abbott to appeal to his faith and humanity and we want to ask him to meet him with immigrant families,” said Jessica Azua, 24, an organizer with the Texas Organizing Project.
“Like the pope said, we want him to see our faces and listen to our stories and we want him to be reminded that he should be welcoming the stranger too,” Azua said.
The lawsuit, backed by 25 other states, blocked the implantation of an executive action of President Barack Obama that would have protected millions of immigrants from being deported.
Abbott responded by saying he would drop the suit when President Obama left the U.S. Constitution alone.
Azua, a Catholic and regular church-goer, said the pope’s message gave her hope, particularly his reference to the Golden Rule.
“Like the pope said, ‘We should not be tempted to discard the troublesome,'” she said, reciting an abbreviated version of a line from the pope’s speech. The pope’s full sentence was: “We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome.”
However, there are those who would disagree with the pope’s sentiments. Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, a group that pushes for strict limits on immigration of all kinds, suggests the pope’s outlook is naïve and contradictory. Beck said the U.S. would react differently if only a hundred of migrants were at the border “rather than tens of thousands” and “hundreds of thousands more who can be enticed. Numbers matter.”
Source: Gamboa, Suzanne, “Activists Hope Pope Inspires Texas Governor to Drop Immigration Lawsuit,” NBC News, September 24th, 2015