Pope Francis promised a 10-year-old girl visiting the Vatican that he would take up immigration with President Barack Obama after she explained that deportation proceedings have separated her from her father.
Jersey Vargas’ father is currently in deportation proceedings. She went with a group of immigration activists on a trip to the Vatican to ask the Pope for his help.
“I told him to pray for my family and to ask the president to stop deportation because it's separating my family,” Vargas told Fox Latino. "He blessed me and told me he would bring this up with President Obama."
Vargas was able to pass her message along to the Pope in a group of tens of thousands, thanks to a letter from the group’s archbishop, José Gomez, which allowed them to stand along the Pope’s blessing path.
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Jersey told the Los Angeles Times before her big trip that she wanted to ask him to "help my dad out, so he can be with me and my family, and we won't be separated ever again."
Her dad, who has been in custody since September, “was caught driving without a license, and because he wasn't born in the United States, that also didn't help him out … So now he's in another state, I think in Indiana, and he's with immigration and they're going to deport him,” she explained.
“I think it's unfair that people are separating families because right now is a time when kids really need their parents,” the young activist said.
Today, Obama met with Pope Francis for the first time. Immigration was one of the topics that the two dignitaries likely broached during their one-hour meeting.