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From today’s Washington Post:
THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump is the do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do president. For years, he ripped Barack Obama for taking summer vacations to Martha’s Vineyard and told voters he’d be too busy governing to golf if he got elected. On Thursday, Trump hit the links again on his 11-day summer vacation in New Jersey.
As he did so, his Slovenian in-laws attended a naturalization ceremony in Manhattan. Viktor and Amalija Knavs were able to become U.S. citizens because their daughter, Melania, sponsored them. Trump decries this form of family reunification and has moved aggressively to block other parents from following their children to America.
It’s part of the president’s campaign to reduce the flow of illegal and legal immigrants, even though three of his son Barron’s four grandparents came to this country via what he denigrates as “chain migration.”
The White House declined to answer questions about whether this is hypocritical. “They are not part of the administration,” Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, said of the Knavses.
But the Trump team has also declined to answer specific questions about Melania’s pathway to citizenship. She got a green card in 2001, five years after arriving in the states to model and one year after she started dating the celebrity billionaire, through a program that was intended to help academic geniuses, corporate executives, Olympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors. “The year she got her legal residency, only five people from Slovenia received green cards under the EB-1 program,” David Nakamura notes.
In August 2016, The Donald announced to great fanfare that his wife would hold a news conference “over the next couple of weeks” to reply to accusations that she violated immigration laws when she first arrived. Melania, he promised, would offer proof that “she came in totally legally.”
Like the tax returns Trump also pledged to release, it never materialized.
There’s nothing wrong with golfing, vacationing or entering the U.S. through legal channels, but yesterday brought another blow to Trump’s credibility as a messenger on the immigration issue.