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Obama Meets With Pope Francis


President Barack Obama met with pope Francis in the Vatican today to discuss social and economic issues in the U.S. Obama says he’s a great admirer of the rock star Latino pope and his reforms within the Catholic Church. Of particular interest was their mutual work in helping the poor, Obama said. Of course, the president and the pope don’t see eye to eye on everything. The pope will probably bring up the whole abortion thing and Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. One issue that is sure to come up is the plight of undocumented workers. The pope has been asked by several groups, (including a little girl whose father is being deported), to speak to the president about this issue. Since Francis is both a Latino and an advocate for the poor it seems like he would be the guy to reach out to the president they call “The deporter in chief”.

Obama has been a mixed bag for many Latinos. One the one hand his Dreamers program has attempted to help the children of undocumented workers get a decent American education. On the other hand his administration has deported four million undocumented people. In spite of a lot of rhetoric on both sides of the aisle there is still little real movement on comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants from Latin American countries have historically been among the most economically disadvantaged members of the population, (with the upper and middle class Cubans like my family that came in the 60’s as the notable exception). Even though the pope has no real temporal power outside of the walls of the Vatican his word carries a lot of weight with over a billion Catholics worldwide. Especially with pope Francis’ unprecedented popularity, Obama should definitely take what he says seriously.

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