Trevor Noah: 'I think Donald Trump is trying to deport Melania'

The Daily Show host re-examines Trump’s immigration policy crackdowns and concludes: they all target his wife

Trevor Noah on Trump’s immigration crackdown: ‘I think Donald Trump is trying to deport Melania.’
Trevor Noah on Trump’s immigration crackdown: ‘I think Donald Trump is trying to deport Melania.’ Photograph: Youtube

Trevor Noah

Following another immigration crackdown by the Trump administration – this week, it moved to revoke green cards from immigrants deemed likely to use public assistance – Daily Show host Trevor Noah sent a distress call for one American in particular: First Lady Melania Trump.

Melania remains, according to polls, the most popular member of the Trump family, and “personally, I love her, too”, said Noah on Wednesday’s Daily Show – the two have much in common, since they’re both immigrants and “neither of us would be here if it weren’t for Donald Trump”.

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Is Donald Trump trying to deport Melania? #DontDeportMelania pic.twitter.com/aWoNOErfbV

August 15, 2019

But the Trump administration’s latest move against immigrants had Noah concerned: “I think Donald Trump is trying to deport Melania.”

It sounds crazy, Noah continued, though it’s clear that there have been issues for awhile; Melania barely lives at the White House, for one, “and it may have created some tension between them when Trump allegedly banged a porn star and paid her to be quiet and then the whole country found out about it”.

Normal relationship problems, Noah said, except that when he looked at Trump’s immigration policies en masse, he noticed a pattern: all of the crackdowns could target Trump’s wife.

Noah listed several of Trump’s lines of attack on immigrants that could, on a second look, also apply to Melania. First, Trump has decried those working in the country illegally at countless rallies, “and everyone assumes that because he’s racist, he’s talking about Mexicans,” Noah explained. But actually, he could be talking about Melania, who, according to the AP, never obtained the correct visa for her modeling work in the US. Her staff promised a press conference to address the issue in 2016, but that never happened – though “to be fair, it’s only been three years since that promise was made”, Noah joked.

Trump has also denigrated – and, through executive order, limited – immigrants arriving in the country through “special” working visas. “Again, people assume Trump was talking about Indian computer programmers in Silicon Valley,” Noah said, “but if you follow the clues, you’ll realize that this guy was actually slamming his wife”. In 2001, Melania, then a model, somehow obtained a so-called “Einstein visa”, usually reserved for standout researchers, athletes, or artists.

Melania’s “Einstein” status seems strange in retrospect, Noah said, “although I guess if you spend enough time standing next to Donald, anyone starts to look like Einstein”.

And then there’s Trump’s disparagement of so-called “chain migration”, the immigration program that allows close relatives to live with legal immigrants in the United States. Trump has promised to end chain migration, though the policy allowed Melania’s Slovenian-born parents to obtain US citizenship.

“That’s what Donald Trump was trying to stop,” said Noah. “He was trying to turn his in-laws into outlaws.”

As for this week’s policy change, targeting immigrants who use government assistance – “well, guess who lives in a free house provided by the United States?” Noah said over an image of the White House.

Noah rested his case. “I see what you’re doing, Donald, and I’m not going to let it happen,” he said. He encouraged Daily Show fans to tweet the hashtag #dontdeportmelania, “because if this great immigrant is forced to leave this country, then the United States can never truly ‘Be Best.’”