Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Antoinette Montgomery

Melania Trump's parents become citizens through 'chain migration'

Melania Trump's parents become citizens through 'chain migration'

A lawyer for Viktor and Amalija Knavs says the Slovenian couple took the citizenship oath on Thursday in New York City. First lady Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as US citizens. He confirmed that the first lady sponsored their green cards.

Trump hasn't commented or tweeted about his in-laws' newfound citizenship.

He did not specify how long it had taken the Knavs to complete the citizenship process, nor whether the 48-year-old First Lady had sponsored their permanent residency.

She settled in NY in 1996, met the future president two years later and became his third wife in 2005.

Their son-in-law has frequently attacked USA immigration laws, calling them the "dumbest laws on immigration in the world". As CNN notes, critics have pointed out that President Trump wants to end that type of family-based migration.

"NOT ACCEPTABLE!" Wildes told The New York Times "I suppose" the Knavses obtained citizenship through chain migration, and called it a "dirtier" way of describing family-based immigration, "a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification".

Trump has taken a hardline on immigration policy, criticizing so-called main migration that allows naturalized United States citizens to sponsor close relatives for permanent residency. Wildes briefly spoke to reporters and said the pair went through "a wonderful journey like most have ... in getting citizenship".

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

President Donald Trump's parents-in-law have become USA citizens in a private ceremony. Green cards can also be obtained through employment, receiving asylum or refugee status, or in other special circumstances. However, the attorney offered his own views on the matter.

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