The Trumps may have some serious ‘splainin’ to do. According to an investigation by Politico, Melania Trump’s immigration story just isn’t adding up. Melania claims she followed all the laws — but those recent girl-on-girl pictures say otherwise and experts say there’s even a chance of legal problems if it turns out she did violate immigration laws.
So here’s the deal. Past statements made by Melania reveal that she was in the U.S. on a short-term visa. A short-term visa prohibits visitors from working in the U.S. but the nude photos published by The New York Post Sunday show she was actively working in the country in 1995. Furthermore, Donald claims she didn’t come to the U.S. until 1996, but the photos also refute that claim. French Photographer Alé de Basseville confirms the photos were shot in 1995 in Manhattan, N.Y.
Here’s Melania’s past statement she told Harper’s Bazaar in January:
It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are. You follow the rules. You follow the law. Every few months you need to fly back to Europe and stamp your visa. After a few visas, I applied for a green card and got it in 2001.”
While flying back to get a new stamp isn’t in itself illegal, and she probably did have papers to be here legally, it shows Melania definitely wasn’t here on a work visa or an H-1B visa. Those visas last three years and can be extended to six years and don’t require visitors to travel back to their home country “every few months” to obtain a new pass.
Politico‘s immigration experts and attorneys explain:
If, as she has said, Trump came to New York in 1996 and obtained a green card in 2001, she likely would not have had to return to Europe even once to renew an H-1B.”
This means that Melania was likely here on a B-1 Temporary Business Visitor or B-2 Tourist Visa, neither of which would have allowed her to work in the U.S. — which photographic evidence clearly shows she did, which constitutes fraud because she would have had to lie about her intentions for being in the U.S. It’s also slightly possible she came in on an O-1 visa, but those traveling to the U.S. under a O-1 visa must have “extraordinary abilities” such as being a movie star or professional athlete. Melania was neither as a no-name model, just entering the business.
And this apparent lie can have repercussions.
Visa fraud would call into question a green card application and subsequent citizenship application, said immigration lawyers — thus raising questions about Melania Trump’s legal status, even today, despite her marriage to a U.S. citizen.”
Can we just take a moment to savor the irony of the fact that Melania’s husband’s popularity as a candidate comes from his extreme stances on illegal immigration?
Donald has even come out hard against immigrants working in the U.S. on any visa, saying in the past:
I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions.”
Well, the exception being his wife, of course.
When the allegations surfaced, Melania responded on Twitter (of course), saying:
In recent days there has been a lot of inaccurate reporting and misinformation concerning my immigration status back in 1996. Let me set the record straight: I have at all times been in full compliance with the immigration laws of this country. Period. Any allegation to the contrary is simply untrue. In July 2006, I proudly became a U.S. citizen. Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate to live, work and raise a family in this great nation and I share my husband’s love for this country.”
This still leaves serious questions unanswered. And because her husband demanded to see President Obama’s birth certificate because he fully believed the President was not born in the U.S. perhaps Melania should just reveal which visa she traveled to the U.S. under to put this nasty business to bed.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Alex Wong