First Lady Melania Trump's parents become United States citizens

Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens report

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of first lady Melania Trump, were granted US citizenship on Thursday through a process President Trump wants to eliminate.

President Donald Trump's in-laws, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, took their oaths of citizenship in New York City.

Homeland Security Police also escorted the Knavs both in and out of the ceremony, which was held at a federal building in Manhattan.

According to experts, there are two main ways the First Lady's parents could have achieved citizenship status - either through sponsorship from their daughter or an employer. They said little other than Viktor telling a reporter "thank you" when she asked how they felt about becoming Americans.

Mr Knavs, 74, was a auto dealer, while his wife, who is 73, worked in a textile factory.

He said the pair had been living in the United States on green cards sponsored by Mrs Trump. As CNN notes, critics have pointed out that President Trump wants to end that type of family-based migration.

The first lady's office declined to comment.

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Canada has a MERIT-BASED system, while the United States prioritizes more FAMILY-based immigration. Under the law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

Experts estimate those measures would cut legal immigration into the USA almost in half.

"NOT ACCEPTABLE!" Wildes told The New York Times "I suppose" the Knavses obtained citizenship through chain migration, and called it a "dirtier" way of describing family-based immigration, "a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification".

Melania Trump became a US citizen in 2006 after marrying Trump the year before.

Viktor Knavs was a vehicle salesman in the Slovenian town of Sevnica, while his wife Amalija worked at a textile factory.

Amalija is 73. The first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling.

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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