Update, November 5, at 10:42 am:

While Donald Trump in his August 31 Phoenix speech proposed draconian enforcement measures against immigrants who overstay their visas or otherwise violate the immigration laws in any way, there appears to be one immigrant who may have allegedly been involved in a more serious violation than mere overstay. I refer to his own wife, Melania Trump, whose alleged immigration violation Trump appears ready to reward by installing her in the White House as First Lady (of Fraud, if the AP's unproven allegations are true) if he is elected president.



The latest AP report states:

"Melania Trump was paid for 10 modeling jobs in the United States worth $20,056 that occurred in the seven weeks before she had legal permission to work in the country, according to detailed accounting ledgers, contracts and related documents from 20 years ago provided to the Associated Press."

If this report is true, it might well mean, as I have explained before in a previous post about Melania Trump, that she could have allegedly lied about her intended activity in the US, not only to get a visitor visa in the first place, but again on entering the US.

It would not also be unreasonable to speculate that she would have at least had an incentive to lie again when she applied for her green card (based on a marriage to a man other than Trump about which details have never been revealed).

On the green card application, there is a question about whether one has ever tried to obtain a visa though fraud or misrepresentation. No one knows how Melania Trump answered that question.

When she became a US citizen, there could have, allegedly, been another problem: the citizenship application has a question about whether one has ever committed a crime that one has not been charged with. Visa fraud, is, of course, a crime (even though merely overstaying a visa, which Donald Trump has vowed to put an end to, is not).

No one knows how Melania answered that citizenship question.

I am emphatically not in any manner suggesting or implying that Melania Trump should be investigated or prosecuted for any alleged (and so far unproven) visa or immigration fraud, either criminally and/or though revocation of her US citizenship and subsequent deportation.

I am only suggesting that, in appropriate cases (perhaps several million of them, through a sensible legalization plan of the kind that Hillary Clinton - whom Trump wants to lock up because she might have sent some emails which might have been classified and might have been hacked - has proposed), Trump might wish to show the same kind of tolerance or latitude for immigration violations committed by immigrants who are not beautiful European models such as his wife, but who may have different skin colors or religions, and may come from other parts of the world than mainly white Europe.

One might want to remind Donald Trump that many of these Latino, Asian, Muslim and other non-European immigrants also have American citizen husbands, wives or children, even if these family members are not running for president.

My original post appears below:

Last night (November 3), my wife and I, who are both big fans of Korean cuisine, decided to have dinner at one of the many new Korean restaurants which seem to be constantly opening in Manhattan's "Koreatown". For those who do not know or have never been to New York, this refers to the single block on 32nd street between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, just off Herald Square, one of the busiest and most active locations in New York, or anywhere in America, just about any time of the day or night.

In Herald Square itself, one can stand on any street corner for five or ten minutes and have good chance of hearing up to a dozen foreign languages being spoken from all parts of the world as people go by on their way to the countess stores, large and small, eating places and other businesses run by and/or employing people seemingly from every country on earth, in this booming center of American prosperity.

Herald Square, along with Times Square about ten blocks away, may be one of the largest areas in New York which owes its prosperity in large part to immigrants from over the world, but there are countless others - Union Square, St. Mark's Place, Columbus Circle, West 72nd street ("Verdi Square") and East 86th Street (Yorkville - once a mainly German neighborhood), to name only the few which I am most familiar with - throughout not only Manhattan but all of the five boroughs of New York City.

Walking along 32nd street's Koreatown, I was struck especially by the number of young, well dressed people, most likely students or business and professional workers, walking by the restaurants and the stylish boutiques, most of which were still open even though it was after 9:00 pm. Since this was Koreatown, most were from Asia, and one could hear not only Korean but also Chinese, being spoken everywhere along the block as well as both of America's national languages, English and Spanish, together with other languages from various parts of the world.

The restaurant where my wife and I were lucky enough to find a table and order our favorite bibim bap Korean dish, together with kimchee and other Korean appetizers, and delicious Korean beer with a brand name I had never heard of, was jammed with young people, mainly from Korea, but, by appearance, from many other nationalities as well, including, of course, the United States, as Korean food ia also popular with many other Americans besides myself.

Being an immigration lawyer, I could not help wondering what kind of visas they were here with, or how they had obtained their green cards. Some customers, no doubt, were visitors, especially since South Korea is now a visa waiver country. Very possibly, the South Asian man in a business suit at the table next to mine who was busy working away at his laptop while he ordered might have had an H-1B visa.

Along this line of speculation, I started asking myself how much chance he would have of renewing that visa (assuming my guess were correct), or even keeping the one he might (hypothetically) have now, if the Republican presidential candidate, who has promised to abolish the H-1B visa category (along with labor certification green cards - see below) were to win next Tuesday's election.

If this restaurant was typical of most others on the block and throughout New York, many, if not most, of the servers might well have been F-1 students earning some badly needed cash to help pay for their tuition - that is, if they were still attending school at all, something which cannot necessarily be assumed.

Nor have I ever known of a restaurant customer asking a waiter or waitress whether he or she has optional practical training or some other kind of work permission as the food was being served.

And this got me thinking: suppose that a hypothetical US president and administration were to carry out the proposals with respect to both legal and illegal immigration set forth in the August 31 Phoenix, Arizona immigration address by the Republican candidate, Donald Trump.

It would not take very long for the lights to go out and the people to disappear from West 32nd Street and much of neighboring Herald Square, and from prosperous business centers throughout New York City - and America.

In Part 2, I will take a look at the details of Trump's immigration proposals to see exactly how New York City's transformation from one of the greatest cities of the world into a virtual ghost town could be accomplished if these proposals were ever to go into effect.
Roger Algase is a native-born New Yorker and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business and skilled worker immigration law in New York for more than 35 years.

Roger especially enjoys Korean, Indian, Chinese and Japanese food, among other international cuisines. His email address is algaselex@gmail.com