President Trump says "women are raped at levels nobody has ever seen before."

The comment came during a discussion of the so-called caravan of migrants that, until midweek, had been making its way north through Mexico en route to the U.S. southern border.

It's not entirely clear if Trump was referring specifically to the caravan, or if his remarks were aimed more generally at the system of smuggling immigrants illegally into the U.S.

One White House official directed reporters to an article published by The Huffington Post in 2014 titled "80% Of Central American Women, Girls are Raped Crossing into the U.S."

This is the very ugly part of the victimization of desperate people who pay large sums of money to coyotes and smugglers to bring them to the U.S. border. This is the part we don't like to talk about. But, when American politicians refuse to take action to control the flow of illegal immigration through the southern border, foreigners will risk it all to make the journey. Many are robbed, raped or killed along the way.

Before Trump was elected, Democrats, including Barrack Obama and the Clintons, were insisting that illegal immigration was a bad thing that was hurting the economy and straining resources. Of course, things changed rather quickly.

Trump is right, though. Many women and girls are brutally victimized and will continue to be, until partisan politics takes a back seat to border security. Few will be willing to risk so much to make it to the border if they know it is unlikely they will be allowed to stay here.

We need a sensible immigration plan, and we need our politicians to come up with one now.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.