Only in this election season, where paradoxes are the norm, does it actually make sense for America’s most famous undocumented immigrant to invite its potential future first lady to clarify her journey to citizenship.
“Immigration is the least understood yet most politicized conversation in America today,” according to Jose Antonio Vargas’s Define American, which started a petition—currently with 3,040 signatories—for Trump to share “her full immigration story.”
According to her husband, she has nothing to worry about. “She has got it so documented,” he has said. So documented that, in fact, “she’s going to have a little news conference over the next couple of weeks. That’s good. I love it. I love it.”
For the Trump campaign, this presser could present an opportunity to put a human face on what has become something of a fantasy issue for the Republican Party, where Trump’s vision of Mexican rapists crossing the border has gained so much currency. But I’m not holding my breath.
For liberals, the history of Melania’s documentation status is a difficult needle to thread. On the one hand, no one wants to shame a person for being formerly undocumented. On the other hand, it has the potential to expose everything wrong about Donald Trump’s rhetoric. Vargas’s organization puts it this way: Melania Trump is “part of a long and storied lineage of immigrants who, in search of a better life and future, have bravely immigrated here, worked hard and proved, time and again, that immigrants make America great.”