Melania Trump’s parents become US citizens, using 'chain migration' Trump hates

10 August, 2018, 17:27 | Author: Kenneth Collins
  • Melania Trump's parents are sworn in as U.S. citizens

The Slovenian-born parents of US First Lady Melania Trump became US citizens at a naturalisation ceremony in NY on Thursday, their immigration lawyer Michael Wildes confirmed to AFP.

Melania Trump, the former Slovenian model, was able to help her parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, 73 and 71, obtain permanent residence likely through "chain migration" processes, Axios reports.

The couple, who had been living in the U.S.as permanent residents, took the oath of citizenship in New York City, their lawyer said. 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.

"It's a dirty - a dirtier word", he said, adding that "it stands for a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification".

Even as his in-laws were going through the process, Donald Trump was denouncing it.

Their ceremony was private for "security reasons", attorney Michael Wildes said. It's unclear when the Knavses obtained permanent residency in the US, the Times reports, but Wildes said they met the five year requirement.

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

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Under US immigration law, Melania's parents would need to have had green cards for at least five years before they could apply for citizenship.

The pair are close with the president and Melania Trump, and are regularly seen traveling with the first family.

The Republican president argues that the system steals jobs from Americans and threatens national security, calling for a merit-based system that preferences more educated, English-speaking professionals.

She settled in NY in 1996 and met Trump two years later. That preferential program, popularly known as the "Einstein visa", is intended for immigrants with "extraordinary ability, [who] are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager", according to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. But cracking down on individuals who entered the United States without a visa has not been his only priority; he's also made it even more hard for immigrants to come to the country legally.

Presiding over the ceremony was NY district director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Thomas Cioppa.

The Knavses raised Melania in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under Communist rule. Viktor, 74, was a vehicle dealer while Amalija, 73, worked in a textile factory.

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