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Open our hearts, Pope prays after children, adults die in hot trailer

Maundy Thursday

ALESSANDRO DI MEO / POOL / AFP

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 06/28/22

Pope Francis tweeted his sorrow at the death of people crossing borders in United States, Europe.

Pope Francis used his official Twitter account to respond to the news of the migrants who died in a hot trailer near the US-Mexico border. He also spoke about another tragedy involving migrants at Europe’s only land border with North Africa.

It’s now reported that at least 50 people who are believed to be migrants have died after an abandoned tractor-trailer was found Monday on the outskirts of San Antonio. There were 46 bodies found immediately and 16 people, including children, were transferred to the hospital. Some of those people have since died.

The people died in the heat of dehydration and heat exhaustion. The truck did not have a functioning air conditioner and the temperature in southern Texas on Monday was more than 100 degrees.

Three people were arrested as the investigation continues.

The archbishop of San Antonio, having just led his people in the tragedy of the Uvalde school shooting, responded with several tweets.

In Europe

Last Friday, dozens of people died and many more were injured near Nador, Morocco, as they tried to cross the fence that separates Morocco from the Spanish city of Melilla. Two policemen also died in the scuffle, as some 1,500 to 2,000 people stormed the heavily fortified border between the Moroccan region of Nador and the Spanish enclave.

Open our hearts, Pope prays after children, adults die in hot trailer

Spain has two autonomous cities in Northern Africa, the other being Ceuta. The two cities are Europe’s only land borders with Northern Africa.

A picture taken from the Moroccan side shows the border fence with Spain's North African Melilla enclave
The fence from the Morocco side.

In a statement, the bishops of Spain insisted that migrants are not “invaders” but “human beings seeking to reach Europe, fleeing from wars and famine, aggravated by the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine, drought, and upheavals caused by climate change.”

The European bishops’ council also released a statement, calling for “the absolute respect of the human dignity and the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees,” as well as “the facilitation of appropriate screening of persons that are legitimate asylum seekers.”

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