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In this Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, file photo, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archbishop of Boston, attends a press conference at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

BOSTON (AP) -- The head of the Roman Catholic church in Boston will travel to Arizona to join a group of seven other bishops on a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border and celebrate Mass on behalf of the nearly 6,000 migrants who have died in the U.S. desert since 1998.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, one of Pope Francis' key advisers, will join bishops from around the country during a trip intended to highlight "the human suffering caused by a broken immigration system, an aspect of the national immigration debate which is often ignored."

The eight prelates are members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration. They will be in Nogales, Ariz., from March 30 to April 1.

Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo heads the committee. He says immigration is primarily about human beings, not social or economic issues.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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