First Lady Melania Trump's Mom & Dad Become US Citizens

Danny Woods
August 10, 2018

First lady Melania Trump's parents were sworn in as US citizens in New York City on Thursday.

"This golden experiment, these doors that are in America, remain hinged open to attractive people as they have today", Wildes said after the ceremony.

He did not specify how long it had taken the Knavs to complete the citizenship process, nor whether the 48-year-old First Lady had sponsored their permanent residency. Trump has decried "chain migration", where adult US citizens can obtain residency for their relatives, and tweeted on November 1, 2017, "CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!"

Amid a bitter debate over immigration - particularly the Trump administration's separation of children from families crossing the border illegally - Wildes said the Knavses' attaining citizenship was "an example of it going right".

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

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director, said that because the Knavses are not part of the administration, "I'm not commenting on them".

Since initial reports emerged in February that the Knavses had obtained permanent residency in the United States, there has been a lack of clarity about when or how the couple received green cards.

The president often rails against family-based immigration at his rallies, and has called it a pathway for terrorists to enter the country.

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In family-based immigration, adult American citizens can petition for residency for their parents, adult married children and siblings. While the president never names Saipov, who obtained his green card through the equally maligned diversity lottery, which grants visas to people from countries that have had fewer immigrants, he has been known to detail the attack.

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

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

He maintains there should instead be a merit-based system, which prioritises professionals over relatives, and has drawn censure for his strident attacks on immigration laws and immigrants.

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

The first lady was named Melanija Knavs when she was born in Slovenia but later changed her name to Melania Knauss when she began her modeling career.

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

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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