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Was Melania Trump an undocumented immigrant who worked illegally in the U.S.?

Mark Mainz/Getty

Back in February, in one of her first interviews, she aggressively defended her husband’s immigration policies by asserting that she was one of the good immigrants:

“I followed the law. I never thought to stay here without papers. I had a visa, I traveled every few months back to the country to Slovenia to stamp the visa. I came back, I applied for the green card, I applied for the citizenship later on after many years of green card. So I went by system, I went by the law. And you should do that, you should not just say let me stay here and whatever happens, happens.”

But Politico reports that a wealth of evidence—including the nude photo shoot that graced the cover of The New York Post last weekend—suggests that she was, in fact, an undocumented immigrant who worked in this country illegally. Politico places her in the United States one year earlier than she has previously claimed, and says she may have been on a B-1 business visa, not an H-1B work visa—which means that she likely committed visa fraud and worked in the country illegally.

The only way for Melania to rebut the allegations is for her to release her immigration documents. Given her husband’s reluctance to release his tax returns, or to submit to other standard forms of vetting, that seems unlikely. Still, if Melania were to do that and if her records were in order, it would be, politically speaking, a win for the Trump campaign—more proof that the media is out to get the Trump family.

This has been a very bad two weeks for Melania Trump—first the plagiarism, then the nudes, and now she has become a living, breathing argument that her husband is a hypocrite and not the steadfast defender of our nation’s borders that he claims to be. Of course, Trump’s illegal immigration rhetoric is largely about race and kicking brown people out of what Trump’s white voters think is a white country, not white super-models taking jobs away from other white super-models. But on the surface, at least, Donald Trump’s wife may be the exact kind of immigrant that he’s been railing against for the last thirteen months.

Update: Melania Trump denies that she worked illegally in the United States.