Migrants on U.S.-Mexico border prepare for Pope's visit

EMBED </>More Videos

The Pope's week-long Mexican visit includes travel from border to border, and on Wednesday he will go north to the Juarez-El Paso border. (WLS)

The U.S.-Mexico border will become a greater focal point than usual when Pope Francis travels to Ciudad-Juarez on Wednesday.

Monday night he's back in Mexico City after a round trip of more than 1,000 miles to the southern state of Chiapas.

In Chiapas, thousands gathered for Mass in a frenzy of faith. Far north, by the Juarez-El Paso border the excitement is all anticipation.

"I just can't explain it, I feel like I'm just jumping out of my skin because I'm so excited about it," says Barbara Ramirez of El Paso.

Although his visit is still two days away, people along the border, especially migrants, are already preparing.

The U.S.-Mexico border today features a fence, Border Patrol and families divided.
EMBED More News Videos

The Pope's week-long Mexican visit includes travel from border to border, and on Wednesday he will go north to the Juarez-El Paso border.



"It's hard because we don't see each other often. We're just taking the opportunity to see each other today," says Valeria Monte, an undocumented Immigrant

Dozens of migrant families gathered in advance of Pope Francis' arrival. Montes and her parents are in the U.S., but her brother and sister are just across the fence in Mexico.

"It's very difficult to be separated from your family," says Sabino Montes.

Many are hoping that Pope Francis will be a source of inspiration for immigrant families separated by the border.

"I think he is going to bring hope to immigrant families," says Irma Cruz.

Cruz is a U.S. citizen now, but her family is still in Mexico. She is one of 500 migrants Pope Francis will recognize in the U.S. when he is in Ciudad Juarez.

Before he goes to the altar for Mass, the Pope will climb a ramp facing the United States and acknowledged the 500 migrants standings on a levee in El Paso.

"When he comes to the river and when he kneels down to remember all the migrants who died on their way to the United States, we're going to have the migrant community who made it to the United States welcome him," says Dylan Corbett, Executive Director of the Hope Border Institute.

"It's going to be the opportunity to have that blessing," says Cruz.

Thousands of faithful are also expected to pack Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso Wednesday. The Mass will be streamed onto a Jumbo Tron. A family festival is planned as well, with singing and dancing before the Mass starts. In order to pay for the event, it will cost about $15 to attend.

Related Topics:
religionpope francismexicoimmigrationcatholic churchu.s. & world
(Copyright ©2017 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments