Melania Trump Denies She Came To U.S. Illegally–But Won’t Provide Specifics

Melania Trump arrives for the NBC network upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall, Monday, May 14, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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Melania Trump responded to a Politico report Thursday suggesting she may have immigrated to the U.S. illegally as a model in the ’90s in a statement that claimed she has been “at all times in full compliance with the immigration laws of this country.” However, Trump did not provide the specifics that would have clarified the questions raised by the Politico piece.

As a reporter who worked on the Politico piece pointed out, Trump’s statement also did not address a period in her career where she was apparently working in the United States as highlighted by Politico.

In the piece published Thursday morning, Politico pointed to interviews Trump gave describing the immigration process she used while working as a model in the U.S. before obtaining a green card. Trump described returning to her home country Slovenia every few months to have her visa stamped. Immigration lawyers pointed out that the process she described resembled that used by foreign nationals on a tourist visa, which does not permit them to work in the U.S. The most common visa granted to immigrants permitted to work in the U.S. is valid for three years and does not require visits back to one’s home country every fews months to be re-stamped. There is a less common workers’ visa that permits holders stay in the United States for up to three years, but that is typically granted only to workers at the upper echelons of their field and at the time in question, Trump was a low-level catalog model.

Additionally, Politico pointed out that the nude photos published by the New York Post this weekend suggests she was in the U.S. in 1995, which a biography of Trump published by Slovenian journalists in February also backs up. This contradicts claims made by Trump and her husband’s campaign that she immigrated to the U.S. in 1996, a claim she reiterated in her statement Thursday.

In reporting its initial piece, Politico asked the Trump campaign to clarify the timing of Trump’s immigration to the U.S. and the process she used. The Trump campaign did not provide specific details to answer Politico’s questions, according to Politico.

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