Melania Trump's parents get US citizenship under program slammed by Trump

Melania Trump's parents get US citizenship under program slammed by Trump

Trump's in-laws had been living in the U.S. as permanent residents.

The Knavses came and went from the ceremony at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Homeland Security police. "Some workers inside didn't know what was going on".

William White, a 74-year-old actor, said, with his eyebrows raised, "I'm happy for them".

Michael Wildes, the couple's immigration lawyer, confirmed they took the oath of citizenship on Thursday.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who are from Slovenia, had been living in the United States with green cards and have been frequently spotted in Washington since their son-in-law assumed the presidency. Their immigration process was under scrutiny, as President Trump has been cracking down on immigration through his policies.

The Knavses' lawyer said their ceremony was kept private for "security reasons".

The decision is likely to cause outcry following Trumps comments to end family-based immigration which he referred to as "chain migration".

The pair are close with the president and Melania Trump, and are regularly seen traveling with the first family.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, declined to comment, according to AP, saying the first lady's parents "are not part of the administration and deserve privacy".


It is not infrequently the site of protests, but on Thursday, things were quiet as the First Lady's parents came and went. Just the other night, Fox News host and avid Trump supporter Laura Ingraham lamented how "both illegal and legal immigration" are irrevocably changing America.

He argues instead for a merit-based system prioritising professionals over relatives, and has drawn criticism for his vocal attacks on immigration laws and immigrants. He also called for eliminating a visa lottery program for people from countries underrepresented in the US.

Trump has taken a hard line on immigration policy, criticizing so-called chain migration. Experts estimate that could cut overall immigration to the USA by 40% to 50%, if those green cards are not reallocated to another category.

If there's one thing I've learned from President Donald Trump it's that "chain migration" is extremely bad and risky and it's allowing truly evil people into our country.

It's unclear when they obtained their green cards, but usually, permanent residents have to hold green cards for five years before applying for citizenship.

The USCIS district director Thomas Cioppa presided over the ceremony, Wildes said.

Their daughter, Melania, was raised under Communist rule in the town of Sevnica where her father worked as a auto dealer and her mom in a textile factory. They married in 2005.

Writing on Twitter in November, Trump made his views on the system clear.

Around the same time the Knavses were completing the ceremony, he was tweeting his rage about the ongoing Russian Federation probe ("an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt") and his excitement about plans for a sixth branch of the military ("Space Force all the way!").

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