Statement of NaFFAA National Chair JT Mallonga on the Pope's Message to Congress

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The message of care and compassion conveyed by the Pope, particularly as they relate to immigrants, is very encouraging. He said that we should not be fearful of foreigners "because most of us were once foreigners."  

As a son of migrants himself, the Pope reminded members of Congress and all the highest officials gathered at the joint meeting, that we are all "descendants of immigrants" and therefore must be welcoming of those who come to this "land of dreams" to pursue a better life for their families. We hope our political leaders will take the Pope's message to heart, set aside their differences and pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill soon. This legislation will go a long way in uniting and strengthening families, which is essential, as the Pope aptly puts it, to "the building of this country."

As Filipino Americans we have a role as well in nurturing a "culture of care" in this great and affluent nation where millions of people continue to suffer in a cycle of poverty and hunger, where millions more are excluded from reaping the fruits of economic prosperity, and where the earth - our own environment and "our common home" - is deteriorating because of our lack of responsibility.


We applaud the Pope's call for unity and solidarity in working together to face this nation's challenges, assuring us that if we follow the Golden Rule, "we can make a difference."