By Doctors Without Borders
February 07, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - US Administration officials are sounding the alarm about a humanitarian crisis along the border with Mexico to justify building a border wall. As a medical humanitarian organization treating people in Honduras, El Salvador, and along the migration route through Mexico, we can be absolutely sure of this: a wall will do nothing to address the humanitarian crisis in Central America driving large numbers to flee north in search of safety and security.
A humanitarian crisis demands a humanitarian response.
For example, on January 19, President Donald Trump highlighted this alarming statistic during his address to the nation presenting the need for a border wall: “One in three women is sexually assaulted on the dangerous journey north."
In a USA Today op-ed published on January 16, Vice President Mike Pence wrote, “According to Doctors Without Borders, 70 percent of illegal immigrants report being victims of violence along the journey at the hands of human traffickers, drug smugglers, and vicious gangs. About a third of women are sexually assaulted on their way to America.”
Even earlier, on January 7, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen highlighted the danger of sexual violence during a media briefing: “We have 30 percent of women who are raped on this journey, and that’s actually not our stat; that’s Doctors Without Borders.”
By highlighting the dangers facing migrants, the Administration is trying to make the case that a border wall would reduce the threat and strengthen US national security. They are now distorting and mischaracterizing the data from our report to push for policies that run counter to everything we believe in.
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