Whether or not to allow unchecked illegal immigration from Mexico is a U.S. political debate but left out of it is how poorly Mexico allows migrants to be treated along the way.

Mexico is not the only place where this is a problem. People trying to avoid immigration laws face peril around the world, no matter what country they visit but America provides the largest undefended borders in the world so the problem is just more easily seen here. 

But surveys of 12,023 migrants traveling through Mexico to get to the US between 2009 and 2015 found that almost 30 percent had experienced some form of violence. Among those surveyed, 24 percent reported physical violence, 19 percent reported psychological violence, and approximately 2 percent reported sexual violence. Transgender, transsexual and transvestite migrants experienced a significantly greater burden of overall violence, and both this group and women experienced a significantly greater burden of sexual violence compared to men.

Violence was experienced more frequently by migrants from Central American countries (30.6 percent) and other countries (40.0 percent) traveling through Mexico than by Mexican migrants (20.5 percent), though that could be just less risk due to a shorter trip.