From Sky News:
Pope Francis has challenged European leaders to open their ports to people fleeing hardship and poverty, insisting the continent does not face a migration “emergency” but rather a long-term reality governments must deal with humanely.
Francis said talk of a migration “emergency” only fuels “alarmist propaganda” and stokes people’s fears.
“Those who risk their lives at sea do not invade, they look for welcome, for life,” he said.
Pope Francis said on Friday that migrants who risk drowning at sea “must be rescued” because doing so was “a duty of humanity” and that those who impede rescues commit “a gesture of hate”.
Francis, 86, spoke at an inter-religious prayer service before a monument dedicated to those lost at sea. Earlier, the city’s archbishop, Cardinal Jean Marc Aveline, an Algerian-born Frenchman, criticized politicians who block NGOs and their ships from saving drowning people.
“We cannot be resigned to seeing human beings treated as bargaining chips, imprisoned and tortured in atrocious ways,” Francis said. “We can no longer watch the drama of shipwrecks, caused by the cruel trafficking and the fanaticism of indifference.”
The pope also said: “People who are at risk of drowning when abandoned on the waves must be rescued. It is a duty of humanity; it is a duty of civilization.”
Some NGOs have complained that governments have blocked some of their ships from leaving Mediterranean ports for reasons the groups consider unjustifiable. Some have also complained that their ships are forced to dock at ports far from areas where migrant boats are usually found.
Aveline said “political institutions” commit “a crime just as grave” as that committed by human smugglers when they block rescuers. Moments later, Francis went off script to thank groups that rescue migrants.
What Francis failed to mention is that an astonishing percentage of African migrants who do arrive in Europe wind up in situations akin to slavery. The United Nations migration agency estimates that some 80 percent of Nigerian women who arrive in Italy are destined for sexual exploitation.
Most of these “are brought to Europe by Nigerian crime fraternities which are always looking for new ways of making money.”
The problem has gotten so bad that currently, one out of two street prostitutes in Italy is Nigerian, leading African church leaders to beg their European counterparts to stop encouraging African migration into Europe.
“All the migrants who arrive in Europe are penned up, without work, without dignity. … Is that what the Church wants?” Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah said in a 2019 interview.