Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Melania Trump's Slovenian parents get US citizenship

AFP  Getty Images AFP Getty Images
| 10 August, 2018, 11:04

First lady Melania Trump's parents are now United States citizens.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs took the citizenship oath on August 9, their lawyer, Michael Wildes, confirmed to Fox News.

Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as United States citizens.

Their lawyer said the couple had met the five-year requirement, but added, "I can't give further comment".

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.

During a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers in January, for example, Trump said, "Chain migration is bringing in many, many people with one, and often it doesn't work out very well".

The Knavs are frequently with the Trump's and also travel with them.

"They had gotten sponsored by their daughter and then once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible", he said.


Their son-in-law has frequently attacked U.S. immigration laws, calling them the "dumbest laws on immigration in the world".

The president proposed replacing most family-based immigration with a skills-based system after an attempted bombing by a Bangladeshi immigrant in NY last December.

The couple was escorted to and from the Manhattan ceremony by Homeland Security police.

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.

Usually naturalization ceremonies at the Jacob J. Javits Federal Building in the city are large events in which several immigrants are sworn in as citizens after reciting an oath and the Pledge of Allegiance.

On Thursday, the president and first lady were vacationing at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminister, New Jersey, and she did not accompany her parents to the ceremony. Viktor was a auto dealer.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website, an average naturalisation application in NY takes between 11 and 21 months and is dependent on numerous character and residency requirements.

The Knavses, both in their 70s, raised Melania Trump in Sevnica, a Slovenian town of around 4,500 people.

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