A plea for migrants outside Vatican as Obama meets Pope
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 01:37
March 27 - Protesters representing migrant groups from Mexico and Tunisia gather near the Vatican as Pope Francis and U.S. President Barack Obama meet. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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A plea for migrants outside the Vatican as U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis for the first time.
A Mexican migrant priest traveled to the Vatican with a small group of followers to make his case
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FATHER MARC-ANTONIO MERCADO FROM THE CHICAGO CHURCH SAYING:
"We are here to ask the Pope to help the 12 million migrants in the United States without documents, and to ask the American president to stop expulsions and hold an amnesty on the migrant issue as we wait for reforms to be implemented in the United States."
Tunisian migrants also ask for help holding photos of loved ones they say are missing after trying to get into the country.
(SOUNDBITE) (Italian) UNIDENTIFIED TUNISIAN MIGRANT SAYING:
"We have knocked on every door we could and no-one has listened to us, to our story, to these people who have disappeared. We are all sick and don't have enough to eat."
Inside the Vatican, Obama is welcomed by the Pope.
Obama has repeatedly praised the pope for his compassion and emphasis on helping the poor.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined the President.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING:
"Your holiness I am so pleased to meet you, great admirer of everything you have been doing, as a Catholic for the Church and for everyone. Thank you so much."
The U.S. President presents the pontiff with a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden.
The next stop for Obama will be lunch with the Italian President before meeting the Italian prime minister later in the day.
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