Melania Trump’s parents are now US citizens

Sergio Cunningham
August 10, 2018

Melania Trump's parents were sworn in as USA citizens on Thursday, completing a legal path to citizenship that their son-in-law has suggested eliminating.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs's lawyer Michael Wildes said the Slovenian couple took the citizenship oath on Thursday in New York City.

Homeland Security Police also escorted the Knavs both in and out of the ceremony, which was held at a federal building in Manhattan.

Viktor, 74, is two years older than President Trump, an immigration hardliner whose zero tolerance policy on illegal border crossings resulted in the separation of more than 2,500 migrant children from their parents. The couple said little, other than Viktor telling a reporter "thank you" when asked how they felt about becoming Americans. Viktor was a vehicle dealer.

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 U.S. - not their parents, adult children or siblings.

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A video distributed by the Israeli army appeared to show a tank striking a military post in the Gaza Strip. The military exchange occurred as reports that Israel and Hamas would commit to a cease-fire agreement.

Mr Wildes did not explain how they got those green cards, raising the prospect they were sponsored by Melania Trump or another family member based on what Mr Trump has called "chain migration" or family-based migration. They tend to keep a low profile despite spending some time at the White House, much like how former first lady Michelle Obama's mother lived at the White House where she focused on helping raise the Obamas' daughters. Under the law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship. 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.

The idea that family-based immigration could be labeled as "dirty" might have a lot to do with the Knavs' son-in-law. Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the U.S. to replace those categories.

She settled in NY in 1996 and met Trump two years later.

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

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

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