The pontiff, who is the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, has made the plight of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy.
Pope Francis suggested that hostility to immigrants was driven by irrational fear as he began a trip to Central America on Wednesday amid a standoff over President Donald Trump's promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and a new caravan of migrants heading north.
Francis was asked by reporters about the proposed border wall Wednesday on the way to Panama, where he is looking to leave the sex abuse scandals buffeting his papacy behind. Francis responded: "It is the fear that makes us crazy."
The Roman Catholic Church's first Latin American pope and the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina, Francis has made the plight of migrants and refugees a cornerstone of his papacy.
Panama Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa said Francis' message is likely to resonate with young Central Americans who see their only future free of violence and poverty in migrating to the U.S. — "young people who often fall into the hands of drug traffickers and so many other realities that our young people face."
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Reported by: NBC News