The US gained two new citizens of note on Thursday: Viktor and Amalija Knavs, parents of first lady Melania Trump. First lady Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as USA citizens. Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, declined to comment on the Knavses' citizenship proceedings or whether the first lady supports her husband's efforts to limit family-based sponsorship.
It's unclear when they obtained their green cards, but usually, permanent residents have to hold green cards for five years before applying for citizenship.
"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", the Knavs' lawyer, Michael Wildes, said in a statement. He wouldn't say who sponsored their green cards.
Trump has taken a hardline on immigration policy, criticizing so-called main migration that allows naturalized USA citizens to sponsor close relatives for permanent residency.
Pressed on the fact that the President has harshly criticized family-based migration and regularly refers to it as "chain migration", Wildes responded: "I can't comment on the President's politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the President's immigration policies personally". A smaller number go to immigrants based on their employment, and other categories include refugees and other special cases.
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Canada has a MERIT-BASED system, while the U.S. prioritizes more FAMILY-based immigration.
While the Knavs now live in Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower in New York City, they didn't always live in luxury.
In 1996, she moved to New York City where she worked as a model and met Donald Trump two years later.
Amalija is 73. The first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling.