Pope Francis is seriously considering visiting the U.S.-Mexico border, which in the last months has become a corridor for thousands of unaccompanied children coming all the way from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and also Mexico.

The pontiff has expressed concern for the critical situation of some 47,000 children who remain in the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol in dozens of facilities around the United States.

Quoting sources of the Holy See, the Mexican news agency Notimex said Pope Francis has consulted in recent weeks with several people he trusts about possible destinations in northern Mexico.

The sources highlighted the desire of the pontiff to visit the border area with the U.S. and see for himself the dramatic reality of illegal migration.

During a private meeting with the Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, earlier his month, the pope indeed confirmed that he will visit Mexico, but did not specify a date.

According to ANSA, the leading wire service in Italy, there is speculation that the Pope would include Mexico and the border area in his visit to the United States scheduled for September of 2015.

The ties between Mexico and the Vatican has been strengthened in recent weeks, not only by the private meeting between the president and the pope, but also by the announcement of an impending visit to the country of the 'number two' of the Holy See, the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

Back in September, on World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said in a message that host countries ought to change their attitude toward migrants.

"Migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity," he said. "They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more."

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