Melania Trump's Slovenian parents become USA citizens

10 Agosto, 2018, 03:25 | Author: Gregg Anderson
  • Amalija and Viktor Knavs

"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", the Knavs' lawyer, Michael Wildes, said in a statement.

The couple was escorted to and from the Manhattan ceremony by Homeland Security police. He wouldn't say who sponsored their green cards.

The Washington Post first reported in February that the Knavs had gained legal permanent residency and that legal experts believed it was likely that the first lady had sponsored their applications for family-based green cards.

Advocates for restricting legal immigration have pointed to the imbalance in favor of family connections as evidence of the need for reform, calling for a "merit-based" system that would choose immigrants based on need in the US.

A White House spokesman declined to comment when asked about the criticism Thursday.

Experts estimate those measures, so far resisted by Congress, would cut legal immigration into the USA almost in half.

He said the pair had been living in the United States on green cards sponsored by Mrs Trump.

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The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building.

Security guards and US Citizenship and Immigration Services workers in offices adorned with Donald Trump's portrait said they were unaware of anyone being sworn in there on Thursday.

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

The couple are natives of Slovenia, where they raised Melania, but have been in the USA for more than a decade, says their immigration lawyer, per CNBC. They married in 2005.

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.

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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