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Locals react to Pope's remarks on immigration

Posted: 9:57 AM, Sep 25, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-25 13:57:13Z
In Washington on Thursday, all eyes were on Pope Francis and his historic speech to congress. 
 
Greeted with a standing ovation, the Pope's message was meant for the average American not just catholic followers. 
 
He focused on several hot button issues including poverty, the death penalty, income inequality and climate change. His message even evoked tears from Florida Senator Marco Rubio. 
 
ABC Action News took a closer look at how that message is resonating locally.
 
Pope Francis walked into a joint session of Congress smiling, but with a mission at hand. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” he said.
 
His message of human dignity with regard to immigration and refugees rang loud and clear. It brought Senator Marco Rubio to tears and touched Tampa resident Hedy Trostle as well. 
 
“I see him as a very kind and loving man and I feel that the whole world should be kind and loving to one another,” she said.  
 
Trostl said her parents, immigrants from Austria, came to the United States for better opportunities. She came here to Good Samaritan Mission to study for her GED. 
 
 “Is this not what we want for our own children?” said Pope Francis.
 
The pope asked Congress to see immigrants as people, listen to their stories and respond humanely. But Trostle says she thinks the immigrants here should be here legally. 
 
“I do believe they should go through what my mom and dad had to go through,” she said.
 
Good Samaritan Mission Executive Director Bill Cruz said helping is what he and volunteers with his non-profit do. He said they provide food and aid to anyone regardless of their legal status. 
 
“It really resonates with me because that is what we’re doing here at the Good Samaritan mission,” Cruz said.
 
The Pontiff ended his speech saying the United States inspires people to dream and hopes as many young people as possible get that opportunity.
 
“It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream. God Bless America,” Pope Francis said.
 
While the pontiff touched on immigration he really filtered his message through four Americans many people see as heroes: Abraham Lincoln,  Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.