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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Is Melania Trump An Illegal Immigrant?

When GOP nominee Trump announced his candidacy for president in June 2015, one major aspect of his platform was his strict stance on immigration. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump infamously said in his announcement speech, ultimately calling immigrants "rapists." His plan to build a wall has been one of the most controversial.

Donald Trump's wife Melania has found herself in hot water again.  Parts of her speech were stolen from Michelle Obama, she reportedly lied about graduating from college, her nude photos made the front page of the NY Post, and now she's rumored to be an illegal immigrant.

According to a deep-dive from Politico featuring input from "immigration experts," the narrative presented by the Trumps has some noticeable gaps. Comments from Melania herself suggest that, despite repeated insistences claiming otherwise, she may have been in the country on a short-term visa when shooting those infamous photos:

The initial confusion appears to stem from a Harper's Bazaar article published in January, in which Melania Trump said staying in the U.S. "without papers" never crossed her mind. "You follow the rules," she said at the time. "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." As noted in Politico's investigation, returning to Slovenia to "stamp" her visa would have only been required if using a temporary business or tourist visa.

"If Melania was traveling to the U.S. on a B-1 business visa, there is a potential problem," a representative from a "major national immigration law firm," told Politico. "She would not have been authorized to work in the U.S. while on a B-1 visa. In fact, if a customs agent encounters someone entering the U.S. on a B-1 visa and they know that the individual intends to work for a U.S. employer, the individual will usually be denied admission." In order to avoid being sent home, the representative said, Melania "may" have had to lie about the intentions of her trip.

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