Video courtesy of Joe Reblando
Young Sophie Cruz joined her family in Washington, in hopes of catching a glimpse of Pope Francis during his motorcade. However, that wasn’t the only agenda on the 5-year-old’s mind – she had a very important letter to deliver to the Pope, as well.
In a video that was recently uploaded by YouTube user Joe Reblando, you can see the young girl sitting on her father’s shoulders, when she suddenly disappears from the frame. When she reappears, she has already gone past the security barricade where she is quickly stopped by security personnel.
Fortunately, Pope Francis had seen Sophie and beckoned for security to bring the girl to him – and in front of thousands of people, the leader of the Catholic Church embraced the young girl.
After the tender moment, Sophie then handed over her letter and a yellow shirt with the words “¡Papa Rescata DAPA!” printed on it. Both the letter and shirt were pleas of help asking that the Pope “save the program that would defer deportation for the undocumented parents of US citizen parents, which has been held up in court,” says The Guardian.
— Lauren Gambino (@LGamGam) September 23, 2015
Sophie, who was born in the US after her parents illegally immigrated to California from Oaxaca, Mexico, shares that she wrote that her heart was sad and that she lived in constant fear that her parents would be taken away and deported.
She went on to say that believed that she had the right to live with her parents, the right to be happy. “All immigrants just like my dad help feed this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect. They deserve an immigration reform,” said Sophie.
The Pope, who referred to himself as the “son of an immigrant family,” had challenged U.S. Congress earlier to be more welcoming of immigrants and foreigners, saying, “We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our ‘neighbors’ and everything around us.”
He went on to say, “On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.”
Pope Francis is currently on his way to New York City, aboard a Boeing 777 called “Shepherd One,” where he is expected to lead an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. Attendance includes Cardinal Dolan, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
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