Melania Trump apparently worked illegally for about a month when she first came to the U.S. according to an investigation by the Associated Press. During that time, she reportedly made $20,056 in 1996 before she was legally allowed to work.
The documents obtained by the AP show she was paid for 10 modeling assignments between Sept. 10 and Oct. 15, during a time when her visa allowed her generally to be in the U.S. and look for work but not perform paid work in the country. The documents examined by the AP indicate that the modeling assignments would have been outside the bounds of her visa.
Questions about Melania following immigration law surfaced back in August, though she has always maintained she followed the rules. The Trump campaign declined to answer the AP’s questions about Melania’s illegal modeling work.
A New York immigration lawyer whom Mrs. Trump asked to review her immigration documents, Michael J. Wildes, also reviewed some of the ledgers at AP’s request. Wildes said in a brief statement that “these documents, which have not been verified, do not reflect our records including corresponding passport stamps.” He did not elaborate or answer additional questions asking for clarification.
This revelation presents a problem for the Trump campaign. Even people who’ve been trying not to pay too much attention to the train-wreck of an election know Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made cracking down on immigration a central issue in his campaign.
In the speech announcing his presidential bid, Trump called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and said “they’re bringing crime.” Trump initially wanted to ban all Muslim immigrants from entering the country, but after coming under heavy criticism changed his proposal to banning immigrants from “dangerous regions” and subjecting them to an ideological test. He’s also calling for more widespread use of the government’s E-verify system to ensure employers check whether job applicants can legally work.
So far, the Trump campaign hasn’t commented on the allegations of Melania’s illegal work though. Apparently, Trump is just worried about people of color immigrating to the U.S.—when a white model from Slovenia comes here and breaks immigration law, it’s not a problem.