First lady Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as United States citizens

First lady Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as United States citizens

Michael Wildes, the attorney for the first lady's parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs, told The New York Times on Thursday that their daughter had sponsored them for a green card, and that they applied for citizenship once they were eligible.

Melania Trump, who has been vacationing with her husband in Bedminster, New Jersey, did not accompany her parents.

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

The Knavs had been living in the lawful permanent residents.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs took their oaths in NY, the Associated Press reports.

In a phone call on Thursday evening, Wildes declined to comment on whether Viktor and Amalija Knavs support President Trump's push to curb family-based sponsorship.

When the Times asked Wildes if the Knavs obtained their citizenship through family-based immigration ― often pejoratively referred to as "chain migration" ― Wildes was vague. Green cards can also be obtained through employment, receiving asylum or refugee status, or in other special circumstances.

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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.

It's unclear whether Mr and Mrs Knavs had their green cards granted by a process the President Trump has sought to end.

They had been living in the U.S. as permanent residents.

Viktor Knavs was a auto salesman in the Slovenian town of Sevnica, while his wife Amalija worked at a textile factory.

She settled in NY in 1996, met the future president two years later and became his third wife in 2005.

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

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