Trump’s in-laws use chain migration, a policy he wants to end, to become U.S. citizens
Melania Trump’s dad and mom have been sworn in as U.S. citizens on Thursday, finishing a authorized path to citizenship that their son-in-law has prompt eliminating.
Viktor and Amalija Knavs, each of their 70s, took the citizenship oath at a particular, personal ceremony in New York Metropolis. The Slovenian immigrants, a former automotive seller and textile manufacturing facility employee, had been residing within the U.S. as everlasting residents.
The Knavses slipped out and in of a aspect entrance at a Manhattan federal constructing flanked by Division of Homeland Safety police. They stated little aside from Viktor telling a reporter “thanks” when she requested how they felt about turning into People.
The couple’s lawyer stated that they had “travailed a great journey.”
Lawyer Michael Wildes stated the Knavses utilized for citizenship on their very own and did not get any particular therapy. He confirmed that Melania Trump sponsored their inexperienced playing cards. Her husband, U.S. President Donald Trump, has proposed ending most family-based immigration, which he refers to as “chain migration.”
“This golden experiment, these doorways which might be in America, stay hinged open to lovely individuals as they’ve right this moment,” Wildes stated.
Amid a bitter debate over immigration — notably the Trump administration’s separation of kids from households crossing the border illegally — Wildes stated the Knavses’ attaining citizenship was “an instance of it going proper.”
Melania Trump — who has been vacationing together with her husband in Bedminster, N.J. — didn’t accompany her dad and mom.
Her spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, declined to remark. She stated Melania Trump’s dad and mom “are usually not a part of the administration and deserve privateness.”
Powerful on immigration
The president in January proposed ending most family-based immigration and changing it with a skills-based system. He additionally referred to as for eliminating a visa lottery program for individuals from nations under-represented within the U.S.
The plan — which Trump reiterated final week at a Wilkes-Barre, Pa., rally — would restrict immigrants like his spouse to sponsoring solely their spouses and underage youngsters to be part of them within the U.S., not their dad and mom, grownup youngsters or siblings.
Specialists estimate these measures would minimize authorized immigration into the U.S. almost in half.
Wildes would not say how lengthy the Knavses have lived within the U.S. Underneath the legislation, everlasting residents should reside within the nation for not less than 5 years earlier than making use of for citizenship.
The Knavses’ citizenship ceremony was saved hush-hush on the Jacob Ok. Javits Federal Constructing. Safety guards and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies employees in workplaces adorned with President Trump’s portrait stated they have been unaware of anybody being sworn in there on Thursday.
New citizens are usually minted on Fridays, they stated, and infrequently the ceremonies are held on the federal courthouse throughout the road.
Raised underneath Communism
The Knavses raised Melania, born Melanija, within the rural industrial city of Sevnica whereas Slovenia was underneath Communist rule.
She attended highschool within the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, and adjusted her identify to Melania Knauss when she began modelling.
She settled in New York in 1996 and met Trump two years later. They married in 2005.
Viktor Knavs is 74, two years older than his son-in-law. Amalija is 73.
Trump hasn’t commented or tweeted about his in-laws’ newfound citizenship.
Across the similar time the Knavses have been finishing the ceremony, he was tweeting his rage concerning the ongoing Russia probe (“an illegally introduced Rigged Witch Hunt”) and his pleasure about plans for a sixth department of the army (“House Pressure all the way in which!”).
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