Donald Trump's Slovenian in-laws become USA citizens

Donald Trump's Slovenian in-laws become USA citizens

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

President Donald Trump's in-laws, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, took their oaths of citizenship in New York City.

"Once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible", the couple's lawyer Michael Wildes was quoted as saying by The New York Times.

FIRST lady Melania Trump's parents have become USA citizens today through a process that her husband has vowed to end.

"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".

According to the report, the first lady's communications director Stephanie Grisham said since the Knavses are not part of the administration, she is not commenting on them.

Melania Trump became a U.S. citizen after entering the country on an Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" in 2001 as a model. Homeland Security Police also escorted the Knavs both in and out of the ceremony, which was held at a federal building in Manhattan.

That same month, only a day later, he tweeted: "Congress must end chain migration so that we can have a system that is SECURITY BASED!" It's unclear when the Knavses obtained permanent residency in the US, the Times reports, but Wildes said they met the five year requirement.

In a phone call on Thursday evening, Wildes declined to comment on whether Viktor and Amalija Knavs support President Trump's push to curb family-based sponsorship. 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.

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

The pair are close with the president and Melania Trump, and are regularly seen traveling with the first family. Under the law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

The couple met in Sevnica, Slovenia in 1966, and Melania was born in the same town.

Melania Trump became a US citizen in 2006 after marrying Trump the year before. Viktor was a auto dealer while Amalija worked in a textile factory.

She was not present for the ceremony, and her parents told their lawyer she was in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president spends time in the summer at Trump National Golf Club.

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