#DontDeportMelania Is Funny, but Dangerous

Could the wall be a metaphor for the rising barrier between Donald and Melania's hearts?

Donald Trump has built his brand on hatred of immigrants.

When and why did Donald Trump suddenly start loathing immigrants so much, many of us wonder, when he has undocumented people staffing his resorts and when he seems to enjoy Mexican food so much?

According to Trevor Noah, it's not because Trump actually hates Mexicans, or Muslims, or any of the other demographics that he has denounced, threatened and maligned with racist slurs time and time again. All this—the border wall, the deportations, the brutal conditions in ICE camps—could stem from a place that's much closer to home: marital strife.

Recently, Trevor Noah posited that Trump has actually always been trying to deport his wife, the first lady Melania. He cited a variety of evidence—for example, Trump has consistently complained about government handouts to immigrants, as well as chain migration processes that allow newcomers to bring along their families. Melania received a handout in the form of an EB-1 green card visa (also known as the "Einstein" visa, reserved for distinguished contributors to American arts and sciences); and she used chain migration to bring her in-laws over from Slovenia. Needless to say, she also benefits from free housing paid for by the U.S. government.

As to why Trump would want to deport Melania, the answers couldn't be more obvious. From Melania's refusal to hold Trump's hand to her fake smiles that turn into deep frowns the moment her husband turns away, it's clear that there's some frostiness between the nation's first couple. (Maybe Trump's highly publicized affair with an adult film star could play a role in that, and who knows what else he's done in private).

So the idea that Trump is trying to deport Melania does make a backwards kind of sense, and Trump does seem like the sort of person who's petty enough to turn an impending divorce into a national crisis. Could the border wall be a metaphor for the rising barrier between Trump and Melania's hearts?

Perhaps this idea could exist solely as a witty punchline if the border wall and all its implications did not have such real, bloody consequences. While Twitter's trending hashtag #DontDeportMelania is funny and entertaining, it might actually be a dangerous distraction from the real damage that Trump has done to millions of immigrants and to the psyche of the American people at large.

Trump's hateful comments about immigrants cannot be excused as fallout from a fractured marriage. They are racist and dangerous and must be condemned as such. Under the Trump administration, 24 immigrants (including six children) have died in ICE custody, many more languish in deplorable conditions, and countless others have died either while making the dangerous journey through the desert to the border, or they've been sent back to dangerous, abusive situations in their home countries.

On the other hand, in a roundabout way, maybe if enough Trump supporters believe that Melania is the real source of Trump's ire (not immigrants just looking for a better life), perhaps they could abandon their baseless racism and fearmongering and stop blaming migrants for all of America's problems.

Perhaps we could all realize that, actually, neither Melania nor Mexican immigrants nor Muslim-Americans are the problem here. No American citizen is struggling because of a few thousand more migrant workers or foreign models entering the country. The real problem lies with whoever paid for Melania to receive the "Einstein" visa. The real issue is the economic inequality that makes it possible for a select few to hoard wealth while others—undocumented immigrants and poor American citizens—struggle to get by.

So no, Melania should not be deported, but neither should undocumented migrants awaiting their asylum trials. Instead, maybe we should consider deporting the super-rich.

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