California State Senator Nancy Skinner of Berkeley—one of the many legislators who objects to President Trump’s targeted travel ban—has called for the release of Melania Trump’s immigration papers. This demand is tied to a more general protest against the executive order so toxic to the welfare of thousands of immigrants.
According to Politico, Skinner, together with Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, insist that the White House provide this transparency in response to Trump’s threat that sanctuary cities will receive restricted funding.
As it happens, Melania Trump’s own immigration history is obscure and dubious in legality. Last November, investigators learned that she did not possess the appropriate work visas when she left Slovenia to model in the U.S. over two decades ago.
“No one in the Trump operation has released any of the documentation to indicate what was the circumstance, or whether she had full legal status,” Skinner explained to Politico California. “We only know they had a lawyer look at whatever papers she chose to give.”
Last August, Trump assured the public that his wife would hold a press conference to address the details of her immigration — indeed, that she would do so before the election. That, of course, never happened. And with the lives of so many immigrants residing in California thrown into jeopardy, Skinner condemns the paucity of Trump’s response regarding the First Lady’s immigration status.
California Republicans, however, rail against Skinner’s efforts. Harmeet Dhillon, a San Francisco attorney and member of the Republican National Committee call them “below the belt” and “a cheap trolling tactic...really beneath the dignity of these California legislators.” Indeed, she goes so far as to claim this move is “sexist and harassing.”
“I don’t think that the president’s policy positions make his wife fair game for anything,” Dhillon told Politico.
Yet, immigration attorney David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, disagrees, arguing that Trump’s executive order indeed validates requests for the FLOTUS’s status, especially when there are questions of fraud in the mix.
“It’s only appropriate they make [Trump’s] wife’s file public,” Leopold maintains, “so we know that his family also complied with immigration rules.”