I hate to use the word “illegal” when it comes to immigrants but the alt-right uses it to define any immigrant that does not have the necessary papers to be in the United States. My problem with Donald Trump is not that he wants to shut down the border for immigrants nor that he sees danger in most immigrants but in his hypocrisy about immigration. “Lo que uno no puede ver, en su casa lo ha de tener,” or, “what you can’t abide by, in your house you will have” is a popular phrase in Mexico. It expresses that if you don’t accept something it is likely a part of your life. Donald Trump has been clear from the onset of his latest presidential campaign, that demonizing the immigration experience is his ticket to the White House. Now it turns out that his wife, Melania Trump, was likely an “illegal” immigrant.
Yes, you read that right, Melania Trump was likely an “illegal” alien. And she could possibly be the next First Lady of the United States. Under normal circumstances I would be applauding this because it would signify the multi-culturalism and multi-lingual contributions that makes the United States the country that it is. However, in the case of Melania Trump, she has on numerous times told everyone that she immigrated “the right way.”
When Melania Trump’s immigration controversy first emerged, it didn’t feel right to me – her immigration story that is. As someone who is an immigrant and who has navigated the complexities of the US immigration system it didn’t seem like Melania did it the “the right way”. I felt like she did it like many other immigrants have done it over the years – gamed the system to make it work for them. You see, the US immigration system is so broken that the only way to do it the “right way” is to game the system to make it work for you.
That is the fundamental flaw with those that insist that Donald Trump wants all immigrants to “do it the right way.”
Last Saturday, the Associated Press published “Melania Trump modeled in US prior to getting work visa”. The article by Alicia Caldwell, Chad Day and Jake Pearson details Melania’s modeling contracts against her immigration timeline that she has released to the public.
The AP published an updated timeline of Melania’s work contracts and tied them to Melania Trump’s lawyer’s letter where he detailed her different immigration statuses that she used to become a US citizen. We presumably must accept that her lawyer’s timeline represents Melania’s true account of her immigration process.
When we tie that timeline with her work schedule timeline created by ledgers and management agreements obtained by the AP, we get a clearer picture of when Melania Trump was paid for modeling work in the US. According to the accounting documents, Melania was paid for 10 modeling contracts between September 10 and October 15, 1996.
According to Melania’ own authorized immigration timeline, she did not receive her H1B visa until October 18, 1996. Prior to her H1B visa, Melania Trump was in the US on a B1/B2 visa that prohibits working in the United States. Melania appears to have worked “illegally” at least ten times prior to receiving her authorization to work in the US. Anyone holding a B1/B2 visa and getting paid for working in the US is considered “out of status” and becomes deportable. Under Donald Trump’s immigration rhetoric, they are “illegal” immigrants taking jobs away from US workers.
Thus, Melania Trump was an “illegal” alien under the Donald Trump immigration platform.
It is important to note that if Melania Trump has refused to release copies of her immigration documents. By that fact, I can only deduce one reason for that and that is that she knows full well that her immigration story is that of most other immigrants – a story detailing gaming the system to make it work for her. Under a Donald Trump presidency, that would make her an “illegal” immigrant and subject her to deportation.
That right there is the hypocrisy behind Donald Trump’s immigration stance and the reason he cannot be the next president of the United States.
If the Donald Trump supporters and especially the alt-right were to critically analyze the information we have about Melania’s immigration story they would reach the same conclusion – that Donald Trump does not represent their interests just like he does not represent the interests of immigrants. Donald Trump has been duplicitous about his immigration rhetoric from the onset and that makes him unqualified to be the next president.