Melania Trump’s Parents Become U.S. Citizens, Using 'Chain Migration' Trump Hates

Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens report

Melania Trump, the 48-year-old first lady, was their sponsor, Wildes told the Times.

First lady Melania Trump's Slovenian-born parents were sworn-in as US citizens Thursday, benefiting from a path to citizenship known as family-based immigration that the president and others have derisively dubbed "chain migration".

Viktor and Amalija Knavs took their oaths in NY, the Associated Press reports.

Wildes said the term was a "dirtier" way of describing "a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification", the Times reported.

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. Their immigration process was under scrutiny, as President Trump has been cracking down on immigration through his policies.

The first lady was born in Slovenia, then part of Yugoslavia, in 1970.

Under immigration statutes, the Knavses would have needed to have their green cards for at least five years to apply for citizenship, along with fulfilling character, residency and civic knowledge requirements.

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They arrived and departed from a Manhattan federal building escorted by Homeland Security police. "The application, the process, the interview was no different from anyone else's other than the security arrangements", their attorney Michael Wildes said on Thursday. The Slovenian immigrants, a former auto dealer and textile factory worker, had been living in the U.S.as permanent residents.

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

The Times noted that the couple would have to have their green cards for five years to become eligible for citizenship.

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

The Knavses raised Mrs Trump in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under Communist rule.

Viktor Knavs, a vehicle salesperson in Slovenia, and Amalija, who worked in a textile factory, are over 70 years old, retired and pass much of the year in the United States, where they regularly spend time with their daughter and grandson Barron. According to news reports, Melania came to the U.S. in 2001 on a so-called Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" as a model. She became a USA citizen in 2006.

US President Donald Trump's parents-in-law have become US citizens in a private ceremony. One for the people who have no power, and one for the people who we are letting in through the VIP entrance.

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