The Slovenian-born parents of Melania Trump became United States citizens at a naturalization ceremony in NY on Thursday, reportedly taking advantage of a family reunification program President Donald Trump has vehemently denounced.
Viktor and Amalija Knavs, both in their 70s, took the citizenship oath at a special, private ceremony in New York City. Now that the couple are USA citizens, it's important to note the president's hypocrisy when it comes to immigration policies.
President Trump has previously spoken out against family-based migration, calling instead for a system that prioritises professionals and skilled migrants over relatives of...
Their attorney, Michael Wildes, called the couple "beautiful people" and took a moment to draw attention to the process of legal immigration.
Melania changed her name to Knauss when she began modeling.
It's unclear when they obtained their green cards, but usually, permanent residents have to hold green cards for five years before applying for citizenship.
The Knavses slipped in and out of a side entrance at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Department of Homeland Security police.
They had been living in the USA as permanent residents.
Trump, China trade war, tariffs
The question is what other tools the two countries may use, once they have no more goods upon which to impose tariffs. China has said new duties will be applied only if Washington pulls the trigger on its new tariffs.
Trump hasn't commented or tweeted about his in-laws' newfound citizenship. And yet, here are his wife's parents, gladly getting the USA citizenship that their son-in-law wants to virtually bring to an end within the next couple of years.
Melania Trump became a USA citizen after entering the country on an Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" in 2001 as a model.
The Times noted that the couple would have to have their green cards for five years to become eligible for citizenship.
The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush around the Jacob K Javits Federal Building. She became a USA citizen in 2006.
The Knavses raised daughter Melania in the city of Sevnica, while Slovenia was under communist rule.
The first lady was not present for the ceremony, and her parents told their lawyer she was in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the president spends time in the summer at Trump National Golf Club.
Mr Knavs, 74, was a auto dealer, while his wife, who is 73, worked in a textile factory. Curious about the cameras, bystanders wandered over.
She settled in NY in 1996, met the future president two years later and became his third wife in 2005.