Melania Trump’s parents sworn in as USA citizens

Bessie Dean
August 10, 2018

Melania Trump had sponsored her parents for their green cards, Mr Wildes said in describing the process by which the Knavses had become United States citizens.

Lawyer Michael Wildes said the Knavses applied for citizenship on their own and didn't get any special treatment. Under the law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

They arrived and departed from a Manhattan federal building escorted by Homeland Security police.

According to The New York Times, Mr Wildes labelled family-based migration "a bedrock of our immigration process", and when asked if the pair had gained citizenship through the system, he reportedly replied: "I suppose". They had been living in the permanent residents.

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.

In family-based immigration, adult American citizens can petition for residency for their parents, adult married children and siblings.

The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building. They frequently travel with the Trumps and split their time between New York, Palm Beach, Florida, and Washington, where they stay in the White House.

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The couple's lawyer said they had "travailed a wonderful journey". He also called for eliminating a visa lottery program for people from countries underrepresented in the US.

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

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.

Canada has a MERIT-BASED system, while the USA prioritizes more FAMILY-based immigration.

News of the ceremony prompted an immediate response on Twitter, with tweets ranging from "welcome!" to "unfreakingbelievable".

Although Melania started from humble roots, she launched a successful modeling career prior to her marriage to the president. One for the people who have no power, and one for the people who we are letting in through the VIP entrance.

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