First Lady Melania's Parents Become US Citizens By Family-Based Immigration Condemned By Trump

| August 10 , 2018 , 10:49 IST

US President Donald Trump has been vocal in his condemnation of family-based immigration which he refers to as 'chain migration' and has also called for an end of the practice. However, his wife First Lady Melania Trump's parents who are immigrants from Slovenia, were on Thursday were sworn in as US citizens using the family-based immigration system itself.

The 74-year-old Viktor Knavs, who is two years older than son-in-law Donald Trump, and Amalija Knavs aged 73 years took the US citizenship oath in a private ceremony in New York City on Thursday. Viktor, a former car dealer and Amalija, a former textile factory worker had been living in the US as permanent residents after Melania Trump had sponsored their green cards.

Melania was born Melanija in Slovenia while it was under Communist rule and attended high school in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. She started her modelling career and moved to New York in 1996 and met Donald Trump 2 years later. Melania married Trump in 2005 and obtained US citizenship in 2006.

In contrast to the recent citizenship of Trump's in-laws, he has called for replacing the family-based immigration system with a skills-based immigration system and also bringing an end to the visa lottery program for people from countries under-represented in the U.S. Even for sponsored citizenships, Trump has vouched for granting citizenships only for spouses and underage children, not parents, adult children or siblings.

According to experts, the measures suggested by Trump would slash legal immigration into the US nearly in half.