Pope Francis to lend his support to those affected by the migration crisis with a trip to a Greek island

The first batch of migrants and refugees were sent back to Turkey earlier this week

Pope Francis to lend his support to those affected by the migration crisis with a trip to a Greek island

Andrew Medichini / AP/Press Association Images

Pope Francis is planning a trip to the Greek island of Lesbos in the middle of this month, in order to be at the centre of the migration crisis and offer his support.

The announcement comes as the first deportations from Greece to Turkey began this week as part of an EU deal to treat those who failed to gain asylum. The migrants, many of them women and children, originally fled to Greece in an effort to escape the violence of the civil war in Syria.

Already, several hundred of them have been transported back from Lesbos and the first batch of them arrived in Turkey on Monday. Some 70 additional staff have been dispatched to a detention centre on the Greek island to speed up the processing of asylum applications. 

For each migrant sent back to Turkey, it is believed that a legitimate refugee will be resettled in Europe.

Pope Francis has already urged Roman Catholic churches around Europe to take in migrant families while European are hoping the expulsions will deter people from boarding smugglers boats.

Migrants continue to arrive in huge numbers in Lesbos, despite the threat of being re-directed to Turkey.