Melania's parents' lawyer says they obtained citizenship through chain migration

Esequiel Farfan
Agosto 10, 2018

President Trump has railed against family-based or "chain" immigration in the past.

The US gained two new citizens of note on Thursday: Viktor and Amalija Knavs, parents of first lady Melania Trump. "This is an example of it going right", he said.

Melania Trump became a United States citizen in 2006, after entering the U.S. on a coveted Einstein visa for people of "extraordinary ability" in 2001 when she was working as a model. Viktor was a vehicle dealer. That type of family visa is exactly one of the categories that Trump and his allies have tried to repeal, saying they are harmful to the US.

Wildes wouldn't say how long the Knavses have lived in the U.S. Under the law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least five years before applying for citizenship.

The idea that family-based immigration could be labeled as "dirty" might have a lot to do with the Knavs' son-in-law.

A source familiar with the situation told Yahoo News the Knavses received their green cards before Trump was elected and that they were sponsored by their daughter. Green cards can also be obtained through employment, receiving asylum or refugee status, or in other special circumstances.

Advocates for restricting legal immigration have pointed to the imbalance in favour of family connections as evidence of the need for reform, calling for a "merit-based" system that would choose immigrants based on need in the US.

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The US allows a number of ways for US citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor family members to come to the US permanently, including categories for parents, adult siblings and adult children, married and unmarried.

Mr Trump and his congressional allies have fought to slash that dramatically, limiting sponsorship to spouses and minor children, including dropping the threshold for minor children from 21 to 18.

Experts estimate those measures would cut legal immigration into the USA almost in half.

Along with targeting illegal immigration, Donald Trump has proposed sharply curbing legal immigration.

She settled in NY in 1996 and met Mr Trump two years later.

She settled in NY in 1996 and met Mr Trump two years later.

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