Sophie Cruz reaches to give Pope Francis the letter during a parade in Washington. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

Imagine living with the fear and uncertainty that you may be separated from your parents by deportation.

This is the desperate situation that led to courageous 5 year old Sophie Cruz acting to draw attention to the plight of her family and other immigrant communities in America and globally. She wrote a letter to Pope Francis (an Argentinian immigrant himself) and delivered it by hand during his parade through Washington, to raise awareness and ask for support for US immigration reform.

Sophie Cruz is the daughter of illegal Mexican immigrants, but is herself an American citizen, as it is her country of birth. Although she recognises she has Mexican roots, America is all Sophie Cruz has ever known. She is campaigning for the deportation of parents of American citizens to end. As a child the stability of family life is important. The fear of being separated from parents and having her world turned upside down is an ordeal that a child so young should not be exposed to. It is a huge weight to carry on such small shoulders. In a time when the news is brimming with refugee families fleeing from danger in Europe, Sophie Cruz has conveyed an important message; families simply want to be able to live together in safety without fear of being persecuted or divided by borders. Is that really too much to ask for?

I admire Sophie Cruz greatly for her bravery and maturity beyond her years in reminding us all, including the people in power, of what really matters.

-Leanne Beard
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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