First Lady Melania Trump's Mom & Dad Become US Citizens

Amalija and Viktor Knavs parents of First Lady Melania Trump arrive with their lawyer Michael Wildes at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building

Melania Trump's parents get US citizenship

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of First Lady Melania Trump, have been sworn in as United States citizens, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

First lady Melania Trump's parents have become USA citizens after taking the citizenship oath during a ceremony on Thursday. To apply for US citizenship, a person must have a green card for at least five years, plus meet the character, residency, and civic knowledge requirements.

They came and went from the ceremony at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Homeland Security police.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News.

"This golden experiment, these doors that are in America, remain hinged open to lovely people as they have today", Wildes said.

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

Melania Trump, who has been vacationing with her husband in Bedminster, New Jersey, did not accompany her parents. Trump has sought to eliminate family-based sponsorship, which he calls "chain migration", and replace it with merit-based citizenship programs. Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the United States to replace those categories.




Experts estimate those measures would cut legal immigration into the US almost in half.

The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building.

The couple are natives of Slovenia, where they raised Melania, but have been in the U.S. for more than a decade, says their immigration lawyer, per CNBC.

The Knavses are from Slovenia, but now divide their time between New York City, Palm Beach, and Washington, D.C., where they stay with the Trumps in the White House.

The first lady was named Melanija Knavs when she was born in Slovenia but later changed her name to Melania Knauss when she began her modeling career. They married in 2005.

Trump hasn't commented or tweeted about his in-laws' newfound citizenship.

Mr Knavs is 74, two years older than President Donald Trump.

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