Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Melania Trump's parents get US citizenship

Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens report Getty Images
Ivan Hill | 10 August, 2018, 08:25

First lady Melania Trump's parents are now USA citizens.

Melania Trump's parents were briskly sworn in as citizens of the United States in NY on Thursday (Aug 9).

Amid a bitter debate over immigration - particularly the Trump administration's separation of children from families crossing the border illegally - Wildes said the Knavses' attaining citizenship was "an example of it going right".

Melania Trump became a US citizen in 2006 after marrying Trump the year before. Picture: AAP (AAP) Mrs Trump was raised in the rural town of Sevnica, Slovenia.

"They had gotten sponsored by their daughter and then once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible", he said.

However it's unclear whether their green cards were granted by a process the President has sought to end.

A source familiar with the situation told Yahoo News that the Knavses received their green cards before Trump was elected and that they were sponsored by their daughter.

Pressed on the fact that the President has harshly criticized family-based migration and regularly refers to it as "chain migration", Wildes responded: "I can't comment on the President's politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the President's immigration policies personally".

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Viktor and Amalija Knavs had been living in the U.S. as permanent residents. That type of family visa is exactly one of the categories that Trump and his allies have tried to repeal, saying they are harmful to the US.

Another amount goes to immigrants based on their employment; other categories include refugees and special cases.

The president proposed replacing most family-based immigration with a skills-based system after an attempted bombing by a Bangladeshi immigrant in NY last December.

The plan, which Trump reiterated last week at a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania rally, would limit immigrants like his wife to sponsoring only their spouses and underage children to join them in the United States - not their parents, adult children or siblings.

Mr Trump and his congressional allies have fought to slash that dramatically, limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children, including dropping the threshold for minor children from 21 to 18.

"They have travelled a wonderful journey like many have, like millions have", said lawyer Michael Wildes. The Slovenian immigrants, a former auto dealer and textile factory worker, had been living in the U.S.as permanent residents.

They arrived and departed from a Manhattan federal building escorted by Homeland Security police. Ms Knavs is 73.

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