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Pope Expected To Highlight Hardships Of Refugees

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Pope Francis will highlight the hardships of refugees during his visit in the U.S. this week.

The Pontiff is calling for countries around the globe to open their arms and help immigrants.

Leading by example, the Vatican took in a family of four from Syria last week, after the Pope appealed to every church in Europe to do their part to help ease the crisis there.

"This idea of welcoming people in is a deeply Christian thing isn't it," said Father Alexander Lucie-Smith, a consulting editor of the Catholic Herald.

Related: Pope Plunges Into Climate Change, Religious Rights Issues

Father Lucie-Smith said immigration will be a central theme in Pope Francis's speeches in the U.S.

He believes the Argentine pope, a son of Italian immigrants, will press America to open its borders to more migrants.

"Take a risk, let them in - and you never know - some of these migrants might turn out to be a really great credit to the nation," said Father Lucie-Smith.

Slideshow: Pope Francis At The White House

The U.S. has already committed to take in 30-thousand more refugees from Syria over the next two years.

The Pope is also expected to discuss the tension boiling on the US-Mexico border.

Vatican watchers said Pope Francis won't shy away from the debate.

"I think he will bring this topic of immigration to the forefront," said Father Lucie-Smith.

Given his warm welcome to the U.S. so far, Father Lucie Smith said Americans, Catholic or not, will listen.

while in New York on Friday, Pope Francis will meet with immigrants at a church in east Harlem.

Click here for complete coverage of the pope's visit.


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