Questions were raised regarding Melania Trump's path to citizenship after an attorney revealed that she got her green card in 2001 "based on marriage."
Melania, a former model who was born in Slovenia, previously said she’d never been married before meeting Donald Trump. Michael Wildes, an immigration attorney who worked for the Trump organization “on behalf of Trump models,” claims Melania was previously married, reports Daily Mail.
“'Before that, she had a work visa and was in full compliance on her visas and never disrespected any of them. That has been made clear to me,” Wildes said. “There are certain parts of the process that remain private. The immigration authorities don't discuss this nor should we.”
Wildes called the speculation into Melania’s immigration status “moot and ridiculous.”
“Contrary to inaccurate reports today, Melania was not married prior to her marriage to Mr. Trump in 2005. She obtained a green card on her own,” a spokesman for Donald said in a statement, contradicting Wildes' claim, to Daily Mail.
In a January interview, Melania said she returned home every few months to renew her visa.
“It never crossed my mind to stay here without papers. That is just the person you are,” she said at the time, Politico reported.
“You follow the rules. You follow the law. Every few months you need to fly back to Europe and stamp your visa. After a few visas, I applied for a green card and got it in 2001.”
Journalist Bojan Pozar, who co-wrote a biography about Melania, told Politico in an email that Melania began moving to New York in 1995.
“In 1995 she started coming to the USA according to the jobs she was getting at fashion agencies,” Pozar said. “We don’t know the exact dates of those before she officially settled in New York but her visits prior to that were temporary business opportunities that she had as a model.”
Melania, whose maiden name was Knauss, married the Republican presidential candidate in 2005 at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.