El Paso (Agenzia Fides) – On Monday, February 15 at about 11 am local time, hundreds of families and residents in the border area between Mexico and the United States gathered on both sides of the border fence Anapra/Sunland Park, unable to go tomorrow, February 17, to Ciudad Juarez, to participate in Pope Francis’ visit. "It was an important occasion for Central American immigrant families who cannot go to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to express their feelings and the struggles they face in order to live in the United States at a time when policies and xenophobic practices prevail", said the statement sent to Fides by the Border Network for Human rights.
In front of the fence that divides the two countries, several testimonies on current rules that affect the lives of millions of residents in the USA/Mexico border region were shared.
"The historical and unique event of the Pope's visit in our region - continues the statement - will be used to highlight the issues affecting immigrant families in the United States, such as family separation, trials for refugees and asylum seekers, abuse of authority, the deaths of migrants, etc.
Furthermore the growing militarization of borders, racism and the criminalization of immigrants will be discussed".
According to the program of the visit, Pope Francis will pass close to the border marked by the wire mesh, and will go close to greet those who are on the other side. At 4pm he will celebrate Mass in the exhibition area of Ciudad Juarez: the stage is 80 meters from the border, and it is expected that on the US side there will be tens of thousands of people in El Paso, while on the Mexican side 200 thousand people are expected. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 16/02/2016)