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White House Statement on Immigration Troubling, “Blatantly Xenophobic”

Photo credit: Josh Estey/CARE
Photo credit: Josh Estey/CARE

WASHINGTON (Dec. 16, 2017) – Today the White House issued a statement entitled, “Our Current Immigration System Jeopardizes American Security,” which offers a troubling and misleading justification for its position on immigration to the United States. In particular, this statement suggests that immigrants are disproportionate perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV) in the United States – undermining, without viable evidence or context, our nation’s long and proud history of global immigration to the U.S.

“CARE is deeply concerned by the blatantly xenophobic references to gender-based violence by American immigrants and foreign nationals,” said David Ray, vice president for policy and advocacy at CARE. “The statement’s singling out of gender-based violence committed by foreign nationals purposely implies that immigrants are likely to commit such crimes – an implication that belies the peaceful nature and important contributions the vast majority of American immigrants have brought to their communities.”

Additionally, this statement undermines the efforts of advocates and governments, at all levels, to draw attention to the acts of gender-based violence committed across the United States and globally. Specifically naming this type of violence in connection with immigration not only promotes xenophobia, but it further feeds into the false narrative that violence against women and girls is specific to non-Western cultures. To more effectively address critical gender-based vilence concerns in the world, CARE calls on the Trump Administration to implement the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally and to fund and support programs to address domestic gender-based violence.

Gender-based violence is a global crisis that deserves attention and action from the international community. It is a violation of the rights and dignity of women and girls worldwide, and affects every nation in the world, including the United States. Decades of evidence, grounded in facts and research, underscore that gender-based violence is not isolated to any one nation, community or population.  Rather, it is a practice that cuts across social, political and economic lines.

CARE supports the U.S. government’s role in partnering with other governments, civil society and survivors of gender-based violence to find evidence-based approaches to supporting survivors and addressing this pervasive issue. CARE urges the White House to rescind this statement and focus necessary resources and time on developing meaningful solutions to gender-based violence, as it exists in every community and nation around the world.

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit: www.care.org.

Media Contact
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-560-1791, nicole.ellis@care.org


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