Immigration has been one of Donald Trump’s harsher focal points throughout the 2016 election. Whether touting his proposed Muslim ban, the literal wall along the Mexican border or both, the subject has never been absent from Trump’s more uproarious moments. And every step of the way, his wife Melania Trump — a Slovenian model who immigrated to the United States in 2001 and became a citizen in 2006 — has helped to promote her husband’s immigration policies on the campaign trail. This despite a new report suggesting the formerly known Melania Knauss earned over $20,000 in America before her initial work visa was approved in 1996.
According to an Associated Press investigation, Melania worked 10 different modeling jobs in the U.S. during the seven weeks prior to her obtaining a H-1B work visa on October 18, 1996. The documents reviewed by the AP reveal these jobs ran from September 10 to October 15, and that Melania earned $20,056 for her work. Separately, Melania’s attorney confirmed with the news outlet that she’d first come to America with a B1/B2 visitor visa on August 27 before applying for and receiving the appropriate work visa.
The AP suggests it is “highly unlikely” these revelations, if confirmed, will affect Melania’s current citizenship status. What’s more, according to New York immigration lawyer Michael J. Wildes — the same lawyer who reviewed Melania’s documentation at Donald Trump’s request — “these documents, which have not been verified, do not reflect our records including corresponding passport stamps.” In other words, the evidence the AP report hinges on may be unofficial or falsified, or may have been withdrawn from Melania’s documents by herself, Trump or someone else in or working for the family.
Either way, the news adds further fuel to an prior report highlighting Trump’s targeting the H-1B visas in his proposed immigration policies. Were President Trump to do away with, or lessen the legitimacy of, these visitor visas, people like his own wife wouldn’t be able to set foot in the U.S.
(Via Associated Press)