Melania Trump strongly denies reports she broke immigration laws — but questions remain
Melania Trump — wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — spoke out on Thursday against accusations that she broke U.S. immigration laws.
On Twitter, she posted a statement that said, in part, “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.”
She was responding to reports that modeling sessions she did when she arrived in the U.S. may have violated the terms of her short-term visa, which prohibited her from doing paid work during her stay.
The Trump campaign’s official story on Melania’s immigration to the U.S. says that she arrived here in 1996. However, a recently-unearthed trove of nude photos she posed for was shot in 1995. A biography of the former model by two Slovenian journalists backs up that contention, saying that she arrived in 1995.
“It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are,” Mrs. Trump said in a Harper’s Bazaar interview from January. “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.”
The type of visa situation she is describing does not square with the Trump campaign’s assertion that she came to the U.S. on an HB-1 visa.
A Politico investigation noted, “If, as she has said, Trump came to New York in 1996 and obtained a green card in 2001, she likely would not have had to return to Europe even once to renew an H-1B.”
Raw Story’s Sarah K. Burris said, “Saying she had to return to Slovenia to renew the visa is what would have been required using a B-1 Temporary Business Visitor or B-2 Tourist Visa, neither of which would have allowed Mrs. Trump to be employed as a model in the United States. Doing so would not only constitute fraud but would also violate all immigration policies Donald Trump has advocated for the last year. The one exception is for certain domestic servants who come to the United States with their employers. There is no exception for models.”
View the tweet, embedded below:
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) August 4, 2016