How Melania Trump immigrated to the USA: Q&A

Recently published naked photographs of Melania Trump have raised questions about the story of her immigration to the United States. She has said she came to the U.S. in 1996, but the photos were taken in New York in 1995. She met Donald Trump in 1998 and they were married in 2005. So what do we know about how Melania Trump came to the United States? Here is a brief description.

Melania Trump is the third wife of American billionaire businessman and 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump. She is a Slovene-American former model. Born in Slovenia, she became a permanent resident of the United States in 2001 and a citizen in 2006. She actively campaigned for her husband during his 2016 presidential campaign.

She faced several question of reporters but she didn’t answer all the question.

Q: How you immigrated to U.S.?

She answered:

“I came here for my career,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in January. “I did so well. I moved here. It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are. 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. After the green card, I applied for citizenship. And it was a long process.”

Then, in February, she told MSNBC: “I follow a law the way it’s supposed to be. I never thought to stay here without papers. I had visa. I travel every few months back to the country, to Slovenia, to stamp the visa. I came back. I applied for the green card. I applied for the citizenship later on after many years of green card. So I went by system. I went by the law, and you should do that.”

Q: Who sponsored her to come to the United States? What kind of visa did she hold?

A: This week, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded to a list of detailed questions of Melania Trump’s immigration status with only one line: “Melania followed the laws and is now a proud United States citizen.” Most of what we know about how she first came to the United States comes from Paolo Zampolli, an Italian-born businessman based in New York who once owned modeling agencies.

Q: But the nude photographs were taken in New York City in 1995?

A: Correct. The photographs originally appeared in the French magazine Max and were published again in the New York Post last weekend. Marc Dolisi, chief editor of Max at the time, told The Washington Post that the pictures appeared in the February 1996 edition of the magazine and had been shot in November or December of 1995. Jarl Ale de Basseville, the photographer, said the shoot was conducted in New York.

Q: How can the discrepancy be explained?

A: Only Melania Trump can explain the discrepancy, which was first reported by Politico. The campaign has not responded to questions asking how those photos could be shot in 1995 if Melania Trump arrived in 1996.

Q: So does that mean Melania Trump was in the United States illegally in 1995?

A: It’s not clear. Dolisi and de Basseville both told The Washington Post that Melania Trump was not compensated for the Max magazine photo shoot. She was a relatively unknown model at the time. Taking part in magazine photo spreads for free is common for models at that level because the exposure can help them secure commercial work.

Q: Why is it important that Trump was not paid?

A: Without pay, she could have been here legally on a visitor’s visa. Foreigners coming to the United States for brief stays can obtain B1 or B2 visitor’s visas allowing them to stay in the United States as either a tourist or a visiting businessperson attending a meeting or other work event. It is, however, illegal to work in the United States on a visitor’s visa; that kind of illegal work has tripped up many other people who wish to legally immigrate to the U.S. People being issued a visitor’s visa are asked both at an embassy or consulate abroad and at the airport upon arrival whether they intend to work. If they come to the U.S. planning to work and claim otherwise, that’s immigration fraud.

Q: Did Melania Trump ever come to the United States on a visitor’s visa?

A: We don’t know. The Trump campaign has not answered this question.

Q: Did Melania Trump do any other work in the United States prior to 1996?

A: We don’t know. The Trump campaign has not answered this question.

Q: Melania Trump described having to return to Slovenia every few months to get her visa stamped, citing her willingness to undertake these trips as a commitment to complying with U.S. immigration law. Why did she need to do this?

A: We don’t know. The Trump campaign would not answer this question.

Q: How did Melania Trump get a green card?

A: We don’t know. The Trump campaign would not answer this question.

Q: Shouldn’t there be some documents available that would shed light here?

A: Certainly. But experts said Melania Trump’s immigration records would typically not be available for public release without her permission. The Washington Post asked Hicks to release copies of these records; she did not respond to this question.

Q: Isn’t it hypocritical for the Trump campaign not to answer these questions, given that Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration the centerpiece of his campaign? And given that he waged a very public campaign to insist that President Obama release a copy of his birth certificate to prove that he was born in the United States?


In March, Donald Trump said he was “totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney. I will end forever the use of H-IB as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first.”

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