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Melania Trump's parents given citizenship under rules their son-in-law wants to eliminate

10 August 2018

First lady Melania Trump's parents were sworn in as US citizens in New York City on Thursday.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, 73 and 71 years old, respectively, are retired, and they maintain regular contact with the Trump family, often traveling with the first family on trips to Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster, New Jersey.

Their attorney, Michael Wildes, called the couple "beautiful people" and took a moment to draw attention to the process of legal immigration. They had no comment at the time, but the building where they were spotted holds offices where federal immigration officials process applications for citizenship.

They had been living in the USA as permanent residents. "I've been a very staunch advocate against the president's policies myself as an immigration lawyer", Wildes said.

Under US immigration law, Melania's parents would need to have had green cards for at least five years before they could apply for citizenship.

It is unclear when the Knavses moved to the USA, but Viktor Knavs was recorded as living at Mar-a-Lago by late 2007, according to The Washington Post.

First lady Melania Trump's parents officially became USA citizens on Thursday.

The Knavses raised Mrs Trump in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under Communist rule.

"This golden experiment, these doors that are in America, remain hinged open to attractive people as they have today", Wildes said. Viktor and Amalija are reportedly "hyperinvolved" in Barron Trump's life, and attend events at the White House regularly.

A source familiar with the situation told Yahoo News that the Knavses received their green cards before Trump was elected and that they were sponsored by their daughter.

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

Melania Trump's parents given citizenship under rules their son-in-law wants to eliminate