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Statistic on sexual assault of migrant women is from an unrepresentative sample

“1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.”

The White House attributes the 1-in-3 estimate to a 2017 report by Doctors Without Borders. But there’s less to that number than meets the eye.

Trump states as a fact that 1 out of 3 women traveling through Mexico is sexually assaulted. But the report did not conduct a random-sample survey that could be applied to all migrant women. Instead, the group interviewed nearly 500 people whom its doctors treated, of which 12 percent were women. So the statistic is derived from the experiences of 56 women and cannot necessarily be considered representative of all migrant women.

In the interviews, 31.4 percent of women said they were “sexually abused” on the journey, not “sexually assaulted” as Trump says. Considering only rape and other forms of direct sexual violence, 10.7 percent of the women who were interviewed said they were affected during their journey.

Live fact-checking and analysis of Trump’s 2019 State of the Union address

President Trump will give his second State of the Union address starting at 9 p.m. Tuesday. He’s expected to call for Congress to pass his immigration policies, and talk about infrastructure, health care, China and Venezuela. The president also is expected to make appeals to “heal old wounds,” according to an excerpt of his prepared remarks.

Here’s a summary of key proposals, pledges or priorities announced by Trump last year and what happened to them.

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