Sofía Cruz is brave beyond here years.
At just 5 years old, Cruz decided it was her mission to deliver a very important message straight to Pope Francis: It's time for immigration reform in America.
Braving the crowds and the pope's rather burley security detail, Cruz, whose parents are immigrants from Oaxaca, Mexico, rushed past the blockade and ran into the street in Washington, DC.
As the security team went to brush her away, the pope called to her and opened up the door to his Popemobile.
Cruz was immediately swept up, hugged and kissed by the pope and hand delivered a message from the estimated 5 million children living in the US with immigrant parents who could be deported at any moment.
Part of her letter reportedly read,
I believe I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy. My dad works very hard in a factory galvanizing pieces of metal. All immigrants just like my dad feed this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect.
Along with her letter, Cruz also gave the pope a t-shirt that said, "Pope, Rescue DAPA," which refers to President Obama's executive action known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
DAPA would allow for undocumented immigrant parents to temporarily stay in the country legally with their children, but the action was halted after a judge's ruling.
Posted by ABC7 on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Luckily for Cruz, she has a strong ally in the holiest of men.
Almost immediately after his arrival in the US, the pope addressed a large crowd on the White House lawn where he dug in and wasn't afraid to bring up the tough issues, including immigration.
At the event, he even related his own experiences as a child of immigrant parents, saying,
As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.
He later added America, and the church, could benefit from immigration. He continued,
But know that [immigrants] also possess resources meant to be shared — so do not be afraid to welcome them... I am certain that, as so often in the past, these people will enrich America and its church.
Citations: Little Sofía Cruz Wanted to Give Message to Pope; She Got Her Wish (NBC News), Little girl braves barriers to deliver migrant message to pope (Yahoo! News), Pope Francis, in Washington, Addresses Poverty and Climate (The New York Times)