Melania Trump, Donald Trump’s wife, was born in Solvenia. Her story about why she first came to the U.S. and the timing of that trip is at odds with recently uncovered facts. She posed for a photo shoot in New York in 1995, at a time she had a “B-1” business visa, rather than an “H1-B” visa which would have permitted her to work.
According to Politico: “If Melania was traveling to the U.S. on a B-1 business visa, there is a potential problem,” said a Washington-based partner of a major national immigration law firm. “She would not have been authorized to work in the U.S. while on a B-1 visa. In fact, if a customs agent encounters someone entering the U.S. on a B-1 visa and they know that the individual intends to work for a U.S. employer, the individual will usually be denied admission. In order to avoid being sent back to Slovenia, she may have had to lie about the purpose of her trip.”
Visa fraud would call into question a green card application and subsequent citizenship application, said immigration lawyers — thus raising questions about Melania Trump’s legal status, even today, despite her marriage to a U.S. citizen. Fraud in obtaining U.S. citizenship can be the basis for revocation of citizenship.
Violations of U.S. visa law are hardly unusual, particularly in the modeling industry. It was a common practice in the 1990s in New York for less scrupulous agencies to bring in foreign models to work illegally on temporary business and tourist visas, according to Sara Ziff, founder of the Model Alliance, a group that advocates improved labor standards for fashion models.
The timing of Trump’s arrival in New York remains hazy, and representatives of the Trump campaign and Trump Organization did not address questions about that timing. If it turns out that Melania posed for that photo shoot while on a B-1 visa, then she could be stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported– even if she’s First Lady.