There was a slight flare up last month when Politico raised questions about Melania Trump's immigration status. I wrote in response: "The Politico article is a shoddy piece of journalism, where the authors have raised theories, but have done no research to confirm their theories."
The apparently inconsistent data were:
- Mrs. Trump claimed to have first come to the United States in 1996, while a racy photo shoot and a Slovenian biography suggested she was in the United States in 1995.
- Mrs. Trump claimed to have been in the United States on an H-1B visa, but she said that she went back and forth to Slovenia to renew the visa; suggestive of chaining B visas.
The limited facts that Politico based its speculation on could have supported the theory that Mrs. Trump had been in the United States illegally or that she had been in the United States legally. One would expect "journalists" to then gather the additional facts necessary to determine which theory was most likely correct.
Mrs. Trump has released a letter from attorney Michael J. Wildes that provides additional data.
First, Wildes states that Mrs. Trump was never in the United States in 1995 and that she first arrived on a B visitor visa on August 27, 1996.
Second, Wildes states that the State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual at this time limited H-1B visas for Slovenian nationals to one year. Rather than going back and forth for new B visas, Mrs. Trump was going back and forth for H-1B visas. Mrs. Trump received her first H-1B visa on October 18, 1996, and received a total of five such visas.
Third, Wildes responded to allegations that Mrs. Trump was previously married and obtained permanent residency through that marriage. Mr. Wildes states that Mrs. Trump received an employment-based green card.
Obviously, Wildes' statements do not establish absolute fact but they do provide an alternate theory to the one in put forth by Politico. A 1996 Foreign Affairs Manual could put and end to this matter or turn it into a Hillary-style evolution of the truth.