Melania Trump’s Parents Just Became United States Citizens

Cristina Cross
August 10, 2018

First lady Melania Trump's parents are now United States citizens.

On Thursday, his Slovenian in-laws, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became US citizens in a private ceremony in Manhattan by taking advantage of that same family-based immigration program. "I've been a very staunch advocate against the president's policies myself as an immigration lawyer", Wildes said.

He argues instead for a merit-based system prioritising professionals over relatives, and has drawn criticism for his vocal attacks on immigration laws and immigrants. Her husband, Donald Trump, has proposed ending most family-based immigration, which he refers to as "chain migration". "Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil". It's unclear when the Knavses obtained permanent residency in the US, the Times reports, but Wildes said they met the five year requirement. The Knavses came and went from the ceremony at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Homeland Security police.

Their ceremony was private for "security reasons", attorney Michael Wildes said.

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In November 2016, the AP reported that she was paid for several modeling jobs in the USA before obtaining a work visa, which would be illegal under immigration law.

Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and political commentator, tweeted, "I guess when it's Melania's Family, it's "family reunification" and should be applauded". She obtained a green card in 2001 and became a naturalized citizen in 2006.

Currently, the majority of green card recipients receive them via family sponsorship.

The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building.

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Asked by the New York Times if they had obtained citizenship under a program derisively branded "chain migration" by the president, Wildes replied: "I suppose". And yet, here are his wife's parents, gladly getting the US citizenship that their son-in-law wants to virtually bring to an end within the next couple of years.

The Knavses raised Melania in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under the Communist rule. Amalija Knavs had harvested onions on her family's farm, then worked in a textile factory, and sewed her two daughters' clothes.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. While they reside for the most part in New York, AP notes that they've also spent an ample amount of time in the nation's capital helping to take care of their grandson, 12-year-old Barron Trump.

He went on: "It seems like we now have two immigration systems".

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