Pope Francis urges politicians to do more for migrants

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has released its policy document detailing how countries around the world should approach the refugee crisis. Pope Francis has said that migrants' children should be given nationality in the country where they are born, weighing into the debate in Italy on Ius Solis, Italian government legislation currently going through parliament that would give immigrants’ children automatic Italian citizenship if born in Italy. Public opinion, however, is thought to be quite opposed to the proposal after the recent events in Spain. 

 Salvini, leader of far right party Lega Nord, put in his two cents in a facebook post: ‘If he wants to apply it in his state, the Vatican, he can go ahead. But as a Catholic, I do not think Italy can host and play home to the whole world.’

 This comes in preparation for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will take place on Jan 14, 2018. The theme of the event is ‘Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating.’

 In Pope Francis’ message for Migrant Day 2018, he stresses that the ‘universal right to a nationality, must be recognized and appropriately certified to all children at the time of birth. The statelessness in which refugees sometimes find themselves can easily be avoided through a legislation on citizenship which respects the fundamental principles of international law.’ He calls for ‘ius soli’, birthright citizenship, or the right of anyone born in the territory of a state to nationality or citizenship of that state. 

 It is necessary to ‘respond to the many challenges posed by contemporary migrations with generosity, lowliness, wisdom and foresight.’ The Pope emphasises that ‘every foreigner who knocks at our door is an opportunity to meet with Jesus Christ, who is identified with the welcomed or rejected alien of all ages.’

 The report was published by the Vatican’s migrants and refugees department, which reports directly to the Pope. The issue is reportedly at the heart of his agenda, according to Vatican sources, along with tackling climate change.