Addressing a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis said that migrants “travel for a better life.…Is that not what we want for our own children?”1 With that plea, the pontiff placed a human face on the modern migration crisis, with nearly 60 million refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing predominantly from war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia2; children comprise half the group. The global response is wholly incommensurate with the need: the European Union agreed to distribute only 120 000 asylum-seekers, and the United States will increase its annual refugee cap from 70 000 to 100 000 by 2017—neither of which will substantially affect the humanitarian crisis.
Lawrence O. Gostin, Anna E. Roberts. Forced MigrationThe Human Face of a Health Crisis. JAMA. 2015;314(20):2125–2126. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.14906