With all of the buzz around immigration these days, and the detrimental policies being enacted by the Trump Administration, the fact that First Lady Melania Trump is also an immigrant has come into question. Contrary to the idea that many people think she stayed in the U.S. illegally after her visa expired, and then married Mr. Trump in 2005 to gain citizenship, this may not be the case.
Michael J. Wildes, an immigration attorney, released a letter in September 2016 saying that she did not receive a green card through marriage:
‘Rather, in 2000, Mrs. Trump self-sponsored herself for a green card as a model of ‘extraordinary ability,’ and on March 19, 2001, she was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Based on this timeline, Mrs. Trump became eligible for citizenship in 2006, after five years of continuous permanent residence.’
The big question now being asked on social media surrounds the immigration status of Melania’s parents. One Twitter user suggested this:
Many people wonder if Mr. Trump is being hypocritical after he ranted on and on that chain migration is the reason so many illegal immigrants are in the country, and that the U.S. needs to put an end to it. Check out Trump’s tweet from just a week ago:
The Washington Post reports:
‘According to various news reports, the Knavses have been living in the United States at least a year. Since Melania Trump moved into the White House, some reports have suggested they live there. Other reports have said they split their time between the White House, Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower and Bedminster, N.J. They apparently help take care of Barron Trump. the president’s 11-year-old child.’
Back in June, POLITICO reported:
‘The hyperinvolved Slovenian grandparents currently live with their daughter and grandson in the Trump Tower penthouse and spend most weekends with the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago, or at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.’
Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for First Lady Melania made this statement, essentially neglecting to comment on the immigration status of Melania’s parents:
‘I don’t comment on her parents, as they live private lives and are not part of the administration.’
There has been speculation on various options that could fit the situation of Melania’s parents. Kevin Johnson, Dean of UC Davis Law School thinks that it is a good possibility they are on IR-5 visas, which would mean they are legal permanent residents because they are the parents of a U.S. citizen.
Matthew L. Kolken, a Buffalo immigration attorney, said:
‘If I were advising Trump, Melania’s parents would be admitted as immigrants as the immediate relative of a United States citizen if they were planning on moving here permanently, especially given the fact that there is talk to eliminate this basis for immigration.’
Another option presented is the possibility that Melania’s parents are on tourism visas and have asked for extensions, since generally tourism visas can be given for six months and extended for up to one year. Sarah Pierce, an immigration policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said:
‘That’s pretty common, It is way more feasible or likely that they would use tourism visas.’
She would on to explain that data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services shows that the approval rate for the I-539 form is 86 percent. This form extends the status for all types of nonimmigrant visas, not solely tourists.
Another less feasible option might be that they are on student visas to learn English as a second language, but it seems doubtful.
Trump announced last year that he intended to end the DACA program – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows children who were brought into the country as illegally as children to work and attend school without being deported. It has been met with great resistance and on Tuesday, a New York judge issued a nationwide injunction saying DACA must be put back in place for the time being.
Here’s what Twitter had to say about Melania’s parents:
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