First lady Melania Trump’s parents were sworn in as United States citizens Thursday after entering the country through a program their son-in-law, President Donald Trump, wants to end, The New York Times reports.
Viktor and Amalija Knavs were sworn in in New York Thursday.
Their attorney, Michael Wildes, admitted to The Times that the couple came to the United States through what Trump calls “chain migration.”
“They had gotten sponsored by their daughter and then once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible,” he said.
Asked if the Knavses obtained their citizenship through “chain migration,” Wildes replied, “I suppose. It’s a dirty — a dirtier word.”
“It stands for a bedrock of our immigration process when it comes to family reunification,” he added.
Via The New York Times:
Under immigration statutes, the Knavses would have needed to have their green cards for at least five years in order to apply for citizenship, along with fulfilling character, residency and civic knowledge requirements. The average time to process an application for naturalization in New York City is 11 to 21 months, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services…
In family-based immigration, adult American citizens can petition for residency for their parents, adult married children and siblings.
Mr. Trump has criticized the program as a path for terrorists to get into the country.
“CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!” he wrote on Twitter in November. “Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!”
Melania herself became a citizen after entering the country on an “Einstein visa” for “individuals of extraordinary ability” as a model.