A client of ours is a non-supermodel accused of working without authorization and not disclosing it on H-1B visa applications. That is, the same issue Melania Trump is being accused of.
Read this excerpt from a Notice of Intent to Deny and see how USCIS is treating my client. For the record, I believe they are wrong on the law and I’m fighting it.
Back in September, Melania famously tweeted she was 100% in compliance with US immigration law. Her husband’s attorney reviewed some of her history and – plausibly – suggested a perfectly legal sequence of events. What was most glaringly missing from the attorney Wildes’ carefully worded letter is a certification that Melania Trump followed US immigration law “100%” – or even that she was generally compliant. Melania is the one that makes that leap, not the lawyer. All the letter does is briefly review her immigration history – which as I said, sounds plausible – and refutes some of the media questions. But saying you didn’t break a particular law doesn’t mean you followed the law with “100% certainty.”
Moreover, if there was undisclosed unauthorized work, it wouldn’t necessarily appear in the “relevant immigration paperwork” – and we also don’t know what Donald’s immigration lawyer considered relevant. The letter is silent about whether Melania or her H-1B employer(s) complied with the terms of her H-1B status – unfortunately, wage violations are common in the industry.
Now, documents have come to light that seem to suggest she was paid before getting an H-1B. If that work was not disclosed (and it rarely is) then Melania’s obtainment of permanent residency was unlawful. If it was disclosed – it would have been much harder for her to get that H-1B visa. Unless, of course, the supermodel exception applies.
I am not advocating for Melania’s status to be revoked. But I am saying that immigration is not easy. Virtually no one is in “100% compliance” with the immigration law. Nor should they have to: USCIS is not a faultless agency: mistakes and inconsistencies do occur. We can no more call for deportation for all immigration violations than we can call for license revocation for anyone who’s ever gone 1 mph over the speed limit.
My client might not become a citizen and could lose his green card. USCIS takes this seriously. For some, it can mean denaturalization: loss of citizenship.
If you’re silent about the holes in Melania’s immigration history, but think that a Central American woman fleeing gang violence and tries to cross the border should be deported, you need to check yourself.