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First lady’s parents sworn in as US citizens

  • Slovenians Viktor and Amalija Knavs, U.S. first lady Melania Trump’s parents, listen as their attorney makes a statement in New York, Thursday. AP PHOTO



New York Daily News
Thursday, August 09, 2018

NEW YORK — First lady Melania Trump’s parents were sworn in Thursday as newly minted Americans — achieving U.S. citizenship through a process the president has strongly denounced.

Viktor Knavs, 73, and wife Amalija, 71, took the citizenship oath in a private ceremony at 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

“They have traveled a wonderful journey like many have, like millions have,” said lawyer Michael Wildes, standing outside the building with the Slovenian couple.

“We just thank everyone for their attention to this very important dialogue on immigration. This is an example of it going right.”

The Knavses are believed to have been granted permanent residence through sponsorship by Melania Trump, who is an American citizen.

Adult U.S. citizens are currently permitted to petition for residency for their parents, married children and adult siblings.

President Donald Trump, who has made tightening the U.S. borders a key effort of his administration, has ripped that process as a threat to U.S. security and called for its elimination.

Long known as family reunification, Trump has derisively labeled the program “chain migration.”

Just last week, the president railed against it in a factually-inaccurate rant at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

“You have chain migration,” Trump said. “You know what that is? A guy comes in — stone-cold killer in many cases. A guy comes in, and then you have to bring his aunt, his uncle, his father, his grandfather, his grandparents, his third niece by a different marriage.”