Girl, 5, Slips Past Security With Message for Pope
She wants him to help keep her family together
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 1:17 AM CDT
Sophie Cruz, 5, from suburban Los Angeles, is escorted back to the barricade right before Pope Francis called for her to be brought to him for a blessing during a parade in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)
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(Newser) – A determined 5-year-old girl managed to hand-deliver a plea for help to Pope Francis as his procession passed through Washington. After Sophie Cruz slipped past a barricade, Francis waved away security and had her brought to him, the New York Times reports. They embraced and she handed him a letter asking him to help her Mexican immigrant parents stay in the country. Sophie, a US citizen, was part of a church group from Los Angeles, BuzzFeed reports. She also gave Francis a T-shirt reading, in Spanish, "Papa Rescue DAPA," referring to President Obama's stalled plan for deferred deportation.

Sophie recited the letter from memory to the Guardian. "I want to tell you that my heart is sad and I would like to ask you to speak with the president and the Congress in legalizing my parents, because every day I am scared that one day they will take them away from me," she said. "I believe I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy. All immigrants just like my dad help feed this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect. They deserve an immigration reform." (Francis later carried out a controversial canonization of an 18th-century missionary.)