The Catwalk to Citizenship

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Regular readers know I believe most partisans actually care little about litmus-test issues as anything other than anti-opponent strategies, even as they convince themselves otherwise. I’m betting that a bit of breaking news about Melania Trump will back this belief up over the coming weeks.

Politico is reporting that the third Mrs. Donald came to this country illegally, and likely lied repeatedly about her work status when she was a young woman wanting to break into the modeling big leagues. If this is true (and it very much appears that it is at the moment), then it could possibly throw her current citizenship status into question. Even if it doesn’t, however, she will absolutely be a textbook case of the type of person described as needing to be run out of town on a rail by most of Trump’s supporters.

Despite this, I’m going to bet a round of top-shelf whiskey right now that this news will not hurt Trump at all with the hardcore anti-immigration crowd in the weeks to come. Further, I will bet that their opinion of her will remain unblemished, and if they respond to the news at all it will be to come to her defense.

Part of the reason for this might well be that when people who want illegal aliens deported think of illegal aliens, they don’t think of people who look like Melania Trump. But also there is this: The issue of illegal aliens is one they chose for the express purpose of beating up their enemies, and their desire to engage with it on any other level is nil.

 

[Image via Wiki Commons.]


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Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular contributor for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter. ...more →

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53 thoughts on “The Catwalk to Citizenship

  1. This seems to be working both ways.

    Those who otherwise congratulate themselves on their compassion are calling for Melania Trump to be deported. Those who consider “illegal immigrant” is a slur have no qualms about lobbing it at her.

    I think Tod is absolutely 100% right that there isn’t a whole lot of principle behind these issues, but that lack of principle isn’t restricted to Trump supporters.

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    • Yes, but it’s a weak comparison, since most of the lobbing “illegal” at her seem to be doing it ironically.

      The point is still valid, I believe, because you can take a slew of other issues where this happens. Just think this particular one is stronger one way than two.

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    • — It seems an easy enough needle to thread. Simply state, “She should not be deported, but Trump is a hypocrite, cuz according to his standards, she should be. This reveals a contradiction in his position that does not exist in ours.”

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      • IANAL, but it says on the forms right there that, yes, it can be revoked if you ever provided inaccurate information to the USCIS.

        And, frankly, that doesn’t seem all that unfair if the inaccurate information was intentional or the reason you got your visa or citizenship approved in the first place.

        Edit: Nor is this sort of policy atypical in other realms. Most universities reserve the right to revoke your degree if they find you lied on your admissions application or committed academic dishonesty while a student.

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      • Vikram is basically right. Fraud and willful misrepresentation in applying for an immigration benefit can make someone inadmissible and removable if they are not citizens. If they got citizenship in part because of fraud or misrepresentation then the government can file a suit in district court to strip them of their citizenship. It also gets you barred from ever entering the US without first being granted a waiver.

        I practice immigration law, but I’ve only had denaturalization threatened once, so it’s not an area I know a great deal about.

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      • I’m an immigration lawyer and the answer is that it is complicated. It’s a lot harder to take away citizenship than a green card under the law so the government generally only tries to revoke citizenship for the most egregious things. What Melania did is technically illegal, working on a B-1, but very common. USCIS usually doesn’t make a big deal about it.

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    • “It comes down to this: we should show her the same generosity or parsimony that we show to other, less fortunate immigrants.”

      You mean, let her stay as long as she likes until she steals a gun and shoots someone with it, and then reluctantly put her on a bus to Tijuana?

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  2. Certainly when I asked about the the lead paragraph of the Libertarian ticket’s statement on Twitter, the Trumpists were predictably quick to proclaim indignation at the idea that they would want their stated policy preferences put into action.

    Personally, I’m glad she’s here and hope her story inspires others not to let visa issues get in the way of pursuing their dreams.

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  3. This should go to show what an absurd farce our immigration system is and that all opposition to immigration is either willful ignorance or thinly veiled racism. That will not be the takehome message however.

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  4. Despite this, I’m going to bet a round of top-shelf whiskey right now that this news will not hurt Trump at all with the hardcore anti-immigration crowd in the weeks to come. Further, I will bet that their opinion of her will remain unblemished, and if they respond to the news at all it will be to come to her defense.

    Hmmm. I think I’ll have to take that bet. My guess is that that demographic, as described, will in fact shift against Trump. Problem is, acourse, determining the constituency in question as distinct from, say, incredibly pissed off undereducated racist white guys.

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