This week, the drama stirring round the Trump camp centers on Melania Trump's immigration status. For years Donald Trump was known as a real estate tycoon, businessman, and reality TV star – not a politician. But shortly after Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009, Trump began his first foray into the world of politics when he challenged the citizenship of President Obama and led the Birthers on an unrelenting campaign to prove that the President was not born in the United States and may not be a citizen at all.
After that failed, in 2015 the biggest plank of his almost nonexistant presidential platform, is his firm stance on immigration. Arguably the single biggest factor that led to his defeat of all other Republican challengers was his brash “no nonsense” approach to immigration – famously telling one of his audiences:
"I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
So today, it is particularly ironic that several reports are surfacing questioning whether Donald Trump's wife, Melania, might have a spotty immigration history herself. It's being reported that Mrs. Trump may have originally traveled to the United States on a tourist visa but while here, did some work as a model, which violates the conditions of that type of visa. Her husband insists that she did not get paid for that shoot.
Melania Trump was born in Novo Mesto in southeastern Slovenia – a country in Europe that few would think of when issues of immigration come to mind. Europe is never part of the debate when American politicians discuss immigration. But according to a recent report published by the Department of Homeland Security, of the 10 countries that have the largest numbers of people overstaying their visas in the United States, 3 of them are European, 2 are Asian and Canada is the leading violator.
The Department of Homeland Security only recently started tracking this data and the report is the first of its kind making it impossible to determine if the numbers are growing, slowing, or remaining steady. But a glance at Canada on the chart prepared by the Pew Research Center begs the question -- Why is it that we only hear about unauthorized immigration from south of the border. Looks like north of the border deserves a closer look.
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Publisher, LA Progressive