Donald Trump has been outspoken over a variety of issues, with illegal immigration being at the top of the list. Many have since accused the president of engaging in prejudice in regards to his immigration proposals, including Pope Francis who appeared to take at Trump during a recent statement.

Pope on Trump

Back in June 2015, Donald Trump stood on the floor of Trump Tower with his family by his side and caused a media frenzy by officially announcing his plans to run for president. During his campaign announcement, Trump faced massive backlash after he referred to illegal immigrants from Mexico as "rapists" and "murderers." Trump's wording caused a quick divide among the American people, which has only escalated in the two and a half years that have followed.

Trump supporters were quick to defend him, as they finally found someone who didn't sugarcoat how they felt on the issue of immigration, specifically the notion of building a border wall and possibly signing off on mass deportation. Critics of the president, however, have since accused him of "racism," "xenophobia," Islamophobia," and other forms of prejudice. As expected, the president has denied the negative labels, but the backlash against him has only grown which has been reflective in his 35 percent approval rating. As reported by The Hill on November 26, Pope Francis has delivered a statement that pushes back against much of what Trump has promoted.

In a message that was prepared to be delivered on January 1 in honor of the Roman Catholic Church's "World Day of Peace," Pope Francis has put together what has been titled "Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace." The pope warned against aggressive backlash to immigrants and refugees, saying that "doing so demeans the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters."

"Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia," Pope Francis notes, calling it "matters of great worry for all those concerned about the safety of every human being."

Pope Francis didn't stop there, as he expressed the importance to help those incoming immigrants and refugees assimilate, suggesting people "welcome, promote, protect, integrate" the new arrivals.

This isn't the first time that the pope has taken a direct, or indirect shot at Donald Trump. Earlier this year, Francis said the president was "not Christian," and urged him to reverse course on ending the DACA program for "DREAMers."

Next up

While Pope Francis and others continue to hit back at Donald Trump over his immigration plans, only time will tell if the president will even have enough support to make a move on the issue. Despite Republicans holding the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Trump has been unable to get on the same page with enough of his own party to pass much legislation.