So it’s ironic to think that Trump, whose nativist stances have propelled him to frontrunner status in the presidential campaign, is married to an immigrant.
Melania Trump, Trump's third wife, migrated to the US on a visa and held permanent resident status by the time the two tied the knot in 2005. In an interview with Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Melania Trump, who immigrated to New York in 1996 via Milan and Paris, spelled out the hoops she jumped through to become an American citizen.
"I followed the law," she told Brzezinski, seated before a gold-encrusted wall in her lavish New York home. "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.'"
The model and watch designer also specifically defended her husband against accusations that he meant to insult all Mexicans by describing individuals crossing the border as "murderers" and "rapists."
"He didn’t talk about everybody. He talked about illegal immigrants," she said. "And after a few weeks, like two weeks giving him a hard time and bashing him in the media, they turned around. They said, ‘you know what, he’s right. He’s right what he’s talking about.’"
The conversation marked one of the first times Melania Trump has spoken to the press, a fact she attributed to being a stay-at-home mother. She also told Brzezinski that she and Donald fell in love partially because they respected one another’s space.
After giving up her modeling career, Trump launched a line of watches and a skin care brand.
More controversially, she once donated $2,000 to a group backing Hillary Clinton, her home state senator, according to BuzzFeed News.