Meet the newest US citizens: Melania Trump's parents

Meet the newest US citizens: Melania Trump's parents

Meet the newest US citizens: Melania Trump's parents

A source with direct knowledge of Melania Trump's parents and their immigration status told CNN that Melania Trump sponsored her parents for their green cards, a status that allowed them to live and work in the United States indefinitely and paved the way for citizenship.

President Donald Trump should have been moved this week when our nation of immigrants accepted two new Americans: first lady Melania Trump's parents, Amalia and Viktor Knavs.

Wildes told ABC News "they applied on their own".

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.

"He said, 'Hey look, there's people, nice people, they're relaxing, some are jogging, '" Donald Trump said during a rally last week in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lamenting the lives lost and injured.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs had been living in the USA as permanent residents.

When Trump began her modelling career, while still a teenager, the whole family sensed opportunity, according to those who knew them in Slovenia.

Melania Trump, who has been vacationing with her husband in Bedminster, New Jersey, did not accompany her parents.


The first lady's office declined to comment.

President Trump has railed against family-based or "chain" immigration in the past.

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 USA - not their parents, adult children or siblings. Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the United States to replace those categories.

Experts estimate those measures, so far resisted by Congress, would cut legal immigration into the U.S. almost in half. Thomas Cioppa, New York district director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, presided over the 20-minute ceremony, Mr Wildes said.

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

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

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

The 48-year-old first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling.

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