On Wednesday, Melania Trump released a letter through her immigration attorney, who was looking to set the record straight on whether she followed proper immigration laws when she arrived in the United States. She’s doing so in response to criticism that not only may she have fudged the process, but she’s also married to a presidential candidate who wants to deport millions of illegal immigrants.
Trump asserts she came to the U.S. in 1996 for a modeling gig, but several outlets have reported this photoshoot actually took place in 1995. Confounding matters even further are her assertions she regularly returned home to Slovenia to renew her visa, which she wouldn’t have to do if she had an H-1B visa (those are good for at least three years at a time).
If her timeline is correct, she would be more likely to a have B-1 Temporary Business Visitor or B-2 Tourist Visa. The timeline gets a little confusing, so what is Melania doing to solve the issue? Lawyering up. In a rare Twitter appearance, Trump said she had hired immigration lawyer Michael J. Wildes to set the record straight:
“It has been suggested by various media outlets that in 1995, Mrs. Trump illegally worked as a model in the United States while on a visitor visa. Following a review of her relevant immigration paperwork, I can unequivocally state that these allegations are not supported by the record, and are therefore completely without merit. Contrary to published reports, Mrs. Trump never worked in the United States in 1995 because she was never in the United States in 1995.”
The Washington Post contends that Trump continues to share more information, but no actual documentation or details have come out of these sharing sessions. Immigration has been a lynchpin of her husband Donald’s presidential campaign thus far, and her status has critics calling out the Donald’s views. But like most Trump policies, he has flip-flopped on the topic at times, and this particular quote sticks out:
“I know the H-1B very well. And it’s something that I, frankly, use, and I shouldn’t be allowed to use it. We shouldn’t have it. Very, very bad for workers. And second, of all, I think it’s very important to say, well, I’m a businessman, and I have to do what I have to do. When it’s sitting there waiting for you, but it’s very bad. It’s very bad for business in terms of — and it’s very bad for our workers and it’s unfair for our workers. And we should end it.”
Melania’s immigration status is a topic that doesn’t appear to be going away. She may eventually show her documentation, but her lack of transparency has some people questioning her story.