Donald Trump’s wife Melania recently came under fire when it was determined that she did not, in fact, receive a college degree as she has claimed multiple times in the past. Now Politico has published a report that states there is evidence that she may not have come to the U.S. legally. If it turns out to be true, Melania’s misrepresentation of her legal status in the past could be a hard blow to husband Donald Trump’s campaign for president as illegal immigration is an important part of his platform.
Melania Trump has stated that she first came to the U.S. on a short-term visa. This kind of visa would not allow Trump to work here as a model. There is also a discrepancy between when Melania says she first entered the U.S. and when recently published nude photos of her were taken. Melania’s account is that she arrived in the U.S. in 1996, but the photos were taken in 1995. In addition, Slovenian journalists recently published a biography on Mrs. Trump in which they provide 1995 as the year she came to America.
Politico emailed both the Trump campaign and the Trump Organization for a response. They stated,
“Melania followed all applicable laws and is now a proud citizen of the United States.”
Melania Trump also responded, as shared by People.
“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 our country.”
Neither Melania nor either Trump organizations that were contacted by Politico specifically addressed the items that suggest she was here in 1995, not in 1996 as she previously claimed.
There are also questions related to the type of visa Mrs. Trump claims to have had when she was modeling. Trump has stated multiple times that she had an H-1B visa while living in New York. This is possible and there is one that is specifically intended for models working in the U.S. However, an H-1B visa can be valid from three years for as long as six years. Melania has also stated multiple times that she returned home every few months to renew her papers. There would be no need to do so if Trump were here on an H-1B visa.
Bloomberg indicates that it’s possible that Melania Trump is mistaken about the kind of visa she had while working in America as a model. Melania could have had a tourist visa instead of an H-1B visa. A tourist visa is good for no more than six months, after which you must leave the country. If Mrs. Trump did have a tourist visa, regulations stipulate that she isn’t to work while in America, however. Working while in America on a tourist visa would constitute fraud. Melania could have used a tourist visa for multiple entries, but multiple long stays on a tourist visa would raise a red flag to those at the U.S. port of entry.
In a portion of the recent GQ article about Melania Trump that was not published, Melania stated this about her time as a roommate with Matthew Atanian.
“I was busy and I was traveling a lot. And then after that, after a month of two, I found my own place.”
Atanian, however, gave an account that was different from Melania’s, telling GQ that they had lived together from 1995 to 1996. He also told Politico this week that they lived together for a year and a half.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]