The first lady of the United States Melania Trump’s parents became U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony held in New York on Thursday. They have gone through a years-long immigration process although President Trump has required new laws to bar Americans from sponsoring parents and other relatives.
The parents namely Viktor and Amalija Knavs, had been living all these years in the country as legal permanent residents after leaving their native Slovenia, now took the oath of citizenship on the confirmation of their attorney Michael Wildes. On this event, Wildes remarked, “Citizenship was just awarded…. They have prevailed in a wonderful journey, as millions have”
As previously reported by the Washington Post in February that the Knavses had gained legal permanent residency and that legal experts thought it was likely that the first lady had sponsored their applications for family-based green cards.
Wildes explained that the Knavses fulfilled the requirement that permanent residents hold their green cards for five years before they can apply for U.S. citizenship. Even though It is unclear when the Knavses first moved to the United States, but by late 2007, Viktor Knavs was listed in public records as residing at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla.
Wildes informed reporters that The Knavses received no special treatment due to their relationship with the first family. Last year as the president Donald Trump increase the pressure to reduce legal immigration, Questions about the couple’s immigration status stepped up including provisions to constrict the ability of U.S. citizens to sponsor their parents, adult children, and siblings for green cards.
The US Government also scrutinized Melania Trump’s own immigration path. Melania Trump , formerly a model known as Melania Knauss, arrived in New York in 1996 and started dating Trump in 2000.
According to the Department of Homeland Security In fiscal 2016, the United States granted nearly 1.2 million green cards, out of which 174,000 went to parents of U.S. citizens.