Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of First Lady Melania Trump, became US citizens today in a ceremony at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City. The couple, originally from Slovenia, had been living in the US on green cards. They had been spotted previously taking citizenship classes in New York, a clear signal that they were on their way to becoming US citizens.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the Knavs’ immigration lawyer, Michael Wildes, said that his clients had “traveled a wonderful journey” to become US citizens. But he insisted that the first in-laws, who are originally from Slovenia, were treated just like any other applicants for US citizenship. He said, “They have traveled a wonderful journey like most have, millions have in getting citizenship and waiting the appropriate amount of time. The application, the process, the interview was no different than anybody else’s other than security arrangements to facilitate today.”
You can watch the full video here.
Later on Thursday, the New York Times asked Wildes whether the Knavs came to the US and got their green cards through “chain migration.” Wildes replied, “I suppose.” Chain migration is the process by which US residents can sponsor family members to come to the US. Earlier this year, the Trump administration vowed to cut back on chain migration.
Wildes Said America’s Doors Remain Open To “Beautiful People” Who Want to Be Citizens
Wildes, the couple’s immigration attorney, said that today was an example of immigration “going right.” He said that America’s doors “remain hinged open to beautiful people” like Viktor and Amalija Knavs.
Viktor, 73 and Amalija, 71 have been spotted in front of the federal building in New York before, as they go to the citizenship classes which are a requirement for everyone who applies to become a citizenship. Back in May, a Daily New reporter spotted the couple exiting 26 Federal Plaza. You can watch that clip here.