Melania Trump's Slovenian Parents Get US Citizenship

Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens report

On Thursday, his Slovenian in-laws, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became United States citizens in a private ceremony in Manhattan by taking advantage of that very programme.

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".

There are only a handful of ways immigrants can obtain green cards, and the largest share of them each year are given out based on familial connections. Wildes told the newspaper that the Knavs fulfilled the five-year requirement, but declined to give further comment.

In 1996, she moved to New York City where she worked as a model and met Donald Trump two years later.

They had been living in the U.S. as permanent residents. The first lady herself was granted citizenship in 2006.

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.

Trump's plan, which Congress has resisted, would limit immigrants like his wife to sponsoring only their spouses and underage children to join them in the US, not their parents, adult children or siblings.

Along with targeting illegal immigration, Donald Trump has proposed sharply curbing legal immigration. Experts estimate that could cut overall immigration to the U.S. by 40% to 50%, if those green cards are not reallocated to another category. Thomas Cioppa, New York district director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, presided over the 20-minute ceremony, Mr Wildes said.

While the Knavs now live in Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower in New York City, they didn't always live in luxury.

Melania Trump became a USA citizen in 2006 after marrying Trump the year before.

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

She attended high school in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, and changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modelling.

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