First Lady's Parents Become US Citizens

Melania Trump's parents are sworn in as U.S. citizens

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 Knavs were living in the United States as legal permanent residents with green cards prior to taking the final steps to become full citizens.

The Knavses took their oath of citizenship at a federal building guarded by police from the Department of Homeland Security. They got no special treatment during the process, their attorney said.

The Knavses' lawyer said they had "travailed a wonderful journey".

"They would appreciate their privacy and we just thank everybody for their attention for this very important dialogue we're having on immigration. This is an example of it going right". Security guards and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services workers in offices adorned with President Trump's portrait said they were unaware of anyone being sworn in there on Thursday.

Presiding over the ceremony was NY district director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Thomas Cioppa. 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 family-based immigration, adult American citizens can petition for residency for their parents, adult married children and siblings. Wildes called chain migration a "dirtier" way of characterizing "a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification", according to The New York Times. She became a United States citizen in 2006.

The lawyer acknowledged that the Knavses had obtained citizenship via the very pathway that their son-in-law, the president, has so publicly denounced.

He maintains there should instead be a merit-based system, which prioritises professionals over relatives, and has drawn censure for his strident attacks on immigration laws and immigrants.

Melania grew up in a two bedroom apartment in Sevnica, a small city formerly under communist control.

She attended high school in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, and changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling. According to news reports, Melania came to the USA in 2001 on a so-called Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" as a model. Amalija Knavs had harvested onions on her family's farm, then worked in a textile factory, and sewed her two daughters' clothes. She met Donald Trump in New York City in 1998. Now, we're certain his shameless hypocrisy sees no boundaries.

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