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There Are a Lot of Inconsistencies in Melania Trump’s Immigration Story

Melania Trump landed in hot water this week after a decades-old photoshoot raised some questions about her immigration status when she first came to the United States, according to Politico.

The photos, which were published by the New York Post last week, caused people to see some inconsistencies in the stories she’s told about her immigration from Slovenia to the States.

Many assumed that Melania first worked as a model in the U.S. with a H-1B visa, which allows immigrants to work for up to three years and can be extended. But over the years, the potential FLOTUS has said in multiple interviews that she intially had to travel back to Slovenia every few months to renew her visa—an issue she wouldn’t have had with an H-1B. This has made some think that Melania instead had B-1 visa, which lasts a much shorter amount of time. People who hold B-1 visas are also not allowed to work.

“If Melania was traveling to the U.S. on a B-1 business visa, there is a potential problem,” an anonymous partner at an immigration law firm told Politico. “She would not have been authorized to work in the U.S. while on a B-1 visa… In order to avoid being sent back to Slovenia, she may have had to lie about the purpose of her trip.”

Andrew Greenfield, an immigration lawyer in Washington, told Politico that if Melania had used her B-1 visa to work in the U.S., that would be considered visa fraud.

Trump has also previously said that she originally immigrated to the States in 1996, but the photo shoot published by the Post was shot in 1995… in New York City. Anyone who has heard Donald Trump speak can understand why this situation is politically dangerous, as he has made his opposition to illegal immigration the central issue of his campaign.

The inconsistencies and half-truths have continued to pile up. Melania’s website was taken down in late July after reporters discovered that while she claimed to have obtained a degree in design and architecture while living in Slovenia, the school she said she attended had no record of her graduation. Then there was the whole Michelle Obama plagiarism scandal at the RNC.

But the story gets weirder. On Friday, Univision reported that Michael Wildes, an immigration attorney working for the Trump Organization, said in a recorded interview that Melania got a green card in 2001 “based on marriage.” This stands in direct contrast with Melania’s previous statements that she was never married before Donald Trump.

The Trumps continue to assert that Melania entered the country legally.

“I have at all times been in full compliance with the immigration laws of this country. Period,” Melania said in a statement. “Any allegation to the contrary is simply untrue. In July 2006, I proudly became a U.S. citizen. Over the past 20 years, I have been fortunate to live, work and raise a family in this great nation, and I share my husband’s love for our country.”

Katherine Mirani is the News Editor for Her Campus. She graduated from Northwestern University's journalism school in 2015. Before joining Her Campus full time, she worked on investigative stories for Medill Watchdog and the Scripps News Washington Bureau. When not obsessing over journalism, Katherine enjoys pasta, ridiculous action movies, #longreads, and her cockatiel, Oreo.
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