On Wednesday, Melania Trump made a major announcement about her past immigration status. And of course, since she is a Trump, she did it via Twitter.
‘I am pleased to enclose a letter from my immigration attorney which states that, with 100% certainty, I correctly went through the legal process when arriving in the USA.’
Whew. Melania’s triumphant tweet and that letter from her immigration attorney, Michael J. Wildes, should set all doubts to rest, right?
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) September 14, 2016
Ummmmmm, sorry, but no it doesn’t. Since Donald Trump has based his campaign on bashing immigrants and claims he’ll deport all the undocumented ones, it’s only natural that questions about the former model’s visas would arise.
In January, she assured Harper’s Bazaar that, of course, she followed all the rules. These would have included flying back to Slovenia every couple of months to have her visa renewed — rather pricey for the pittance nude models get paid these days.
‘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.’
In early August, the New York Post published some racy nude photos from the FLOTUS hopeful’s early modeling career.
— Júlio César Melo (@JulioCyberSec) August 12, 2016
Then, POLITICO did a little digging and discovered that Melania Trump’s timeline was as questionable as the photos and the Post’s terrible puns. She said she came to New York City in 1996, but the photos were taken there in 1995.
‘While Trump and her husband, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have said she came to the United States legally, her own statements suggest she first came to the country on a short-term visa that would not have authorized her to work as a model. Trump has also said she came to New York in 1996, but the nude photo shoot places her in the United States in 1995, as does a biography published in February by Slovenian journalists.’
And now, there’s another problem, as the Baxter Bean points out on Twitter.
— ?????? ???? (@TheBaxterBean) September 14, 2016
Baxter Bean’s link goes to Chang and Boos’ Canada-U.S. Immigration Law Center blog. You’ve probably never heard of it, but it’s run by two highly respected immigration attorneys and is widely followed by those who work with immigrants and their various legal issues.
As it turns out, even by the Trump-Pence campaign’s version of the story, Melania Trump still may have been here illegally. They claim she came here via the Visa Waiver program. But, according to Henry L. Chang’s post from 2010, the U.S. State Dept. didn’t add Slovenia to the Visa Waiver program until 1997: two years after those nude photos were taken.
‘Slovenia was added to the list on September 30, 1997. Portugal, Singapore and Uruguay were added to the list on August 9, 1999.’
Watch: Did Melania Trump immigrate to the U.S. legally?
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) September 14, 2016
Featured Image: Johnny Nunez via Getty Images.