New York Times
By Jim Yardley
February 17, 2016
Pope Francis is finishing his six-day trip to Mexico on Wednesday, with his final stop at Ciudad Juárez, at the border with the United States. He will not step into the United States, but he will certainly step directly into the angry American political debate about immigration.
Which is exactly what he wants.
Few issues matter more to Francis than the global, polarizing issue of the plight of migrants. In the United States, Donald J. Trump promises to make Mexico build a border wall if he is elected president, while many of his Republican presidential rivals scramble to out-tough one another. In Europe, countries are hurriedly throwing up fences to block waves of Syrians, Afghans and others fleeing war and poverty.
Francis will celebrate Mass in a fairground barely 300 feet from the Rio Grande, and will step to the edge of the border. Mr. Trump recently criticized the Latin American pope over his border visit and argued that Francis did not understand “the danger of the open border we have with Mexico.”
We’re expecting the visit to be a big moment, one that will be broadcast around the world. The New York Times is going to run a live blog to document it in real time. We will have reporters in Juárez with Francis and among the crowds, as well as across the border in El Paso. Our political team will keep an eye out for any reaction from the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.
We’ll start the blog at 2:30 p.m. Mountain time (4:30 p.m. Eastern), shortly before Francis is expected to visit the border area, with reports from the scene. Please join us at nytimes.com.
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