Melania Trump’s Parents Become U.S. Citizens


First lady Melania Trump's parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became US citizens on Thursday, taking advantage of a program that President Trump has long railed against. Wildes said the first lady sponsored her parents for their green cards, and once eligible, they applied for citizenship. They tend to keep a low profile despite spending some time at the White House, much like how former first lady Michelle Obama's mother lived at the White House where she focused on helping raise the Obamas' daughters.

Melania Trump became a USA citizen in 2006 after marrying Trump the year before.

They had been living in the United States as permanent residents. Trump has sought to eliminate family-based sponsorship, which he calls "chain migration", and replace it with merit-based citizenship programs.

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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.

Wildes wouldn't comment on how the Knavs received their green cards or citizenship Thursday, but criticized the Trump administration's immigration policies to CNN. A smaller number go to immigrants based on their employment, and other categories include refugees and other special cases.

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

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In 1996, she moved to New York City where she worked as a model and met Donald Trump two years later.

The couple are natives of Slovenia, where they raised Melania, but have been in the U.S. for more than a decade, says their immigration lawyer, per CNBC.

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

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Although Melania started from humble roots, she launched a successful modeling career prior to her marriage to the president.