When Pope Francis heads back to the Vatican, he will leave with a hand-written letter from five-year-old Sophie Cruz. The daughter of undocumented immigrants was able to break through security Wednesday to get to the Pope during his visit to Washington D.C.
Sophie and her family had traveled with an immigration advocacy group from California to see Pope Francis. The Mexican-American girl had a mission to let Pope Francis know she lives in fear as the child of undocumented workers.
Sophie had a brief face-to-face meeting with the Pope and before she left him she handed him a yellow t-shirt with a letter. She later told Univision in Spanish about what she wrote in the letter. Here’s a translation:
My name is Sophie Cruz. I am 5-years-old. I am an American citizen with Mexican roots. I live in Los Angeles, California in the heart of the culture. My parents are from Ixtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Pope Francis I want to tell you that my heart is very sad because I am afraid that one day ICE will deport my parents. I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy.
My father works very hard in a factory. All immigrants like my father help this country, they deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to be respected. They deserve immigration reform. They deserve this in my country.
They have earned it and have worked very hard picking oranges, onions, watermelons, melons, spinach, lettuce and many other vegetables.
Don’t forget about us children, especially those who suffer because they don’t have their parents, because of the war, violence and hunger.
According to the Pew Research Center: In 2012, there were 4 million unauthorized immigrant adults living with their U.S.-born children.
— Univision Noticias (@UniNoticias) September 23, 2015
Sophie put her home address on the letter she handed to Pope Francis. Here’s hoping he writes her back.