On Monday, Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai criticized Donald Trump's border wall demand, saying that "this does not reflect America." The 21-year-old humanitarian, who was almost killed by the Taliban in Northern Pakistan for advocating for girls' education in 2012, weighed in on the president's border security demand on CBS This Morning.
Trump is currently seeking $5 billion for construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and has so far garnered little support from Congress. He wants that money to be included in a federal budget deal that lands on his desk, and Democrats have remained steadfastly against that demand; this budget impasse has led to a partial government shutdown, which began on Dec. 21.
As Yousafzai discussed her book, We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories From Refugee Girls Around the World, with the show's co-hosts, she said she hoped Trump and other political figures would be more compassionate toward displaced people around the globe.
"This does not reflect the values of America," Yousafzai said on CBS This Morning. "I hope that the president and also other political leaders in the US, they reflect what American people believe which is welcoming and which is supporting refugees."
Speaking of the dehumanization targeting refugees, Yousafzai added, "Oftentimes when we hear about refugees we hear about them in figures and numbers. We hear about them, but we never hear from them. We never hear what they want to say, what their dreams are, their aspirations are."
As an activist, Yousafzai has been vocal about the plight of refugees around the world and how having to flee one's home is never a decision made with joy. She told CBS This Morning about the female refugees in her book and how they were forced to leave their home countries due to political and social strife.
"For most of these girls, most of these women and children around the world who are going through conflicts right now, going through wars right now, their last choice is to become refugees, but that's often the only choice to survive," Yousafzai said on the show.
"And they want, you know, to live in a peaceful place," she added. "They want to have a home. They want to have a future for their children. And that's often the things that we don't hear. And I think that's something that I want people to understand and that I want to deliver to this world."
In her book about refugees, Yousafzai delves into the struggles of young women from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Colombia, and Guatemala, among others. The activist lays out how global migration policies impact the lives of these women who desperately seek peace and stability.
Describing how migrants are treated at the U.S.-Mexico border as "shocking," Yousafzai said, "I hope the president and other people read the book and learn more about refugees."
"And I also hope," Yousafzai added with a smile, "that they visit a refugee camp and actually meet refugee people."