Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Lawyer: Melania Trump's parents are permanent United States residents

Viktor and Amalija Knavs the parents of first lady Melania Trump walk from Marine One to the White House in 2017 Viktor and Amalija Knavs the parents of first lady Melania Trump walk from Marine One to the White House in 2017. Associated Press Carolyn Kaster
Patty Aguilar | 21 February, 2018, 22:55

First lady Melania Trump's parents have become permanent USA residents, their lawyer said Wednesday, apparently taking advantage of a family unification program pilloried by the president.

"I can confirm that Mrs. Trump's parents are both lawfully admitted to the United States as permanent residents", he told The Post.

Their immigration lawyer, Michael Wildes, didn't comment on how they got green cards. Under an immigration plan he described during last month's State of the Union, citizens would only be allowed to sponsor their spouses and minor children.

He's embraced enactment that would keep migrants from supporting their parents and just enable them to support mates and minor kids.

Viktor Knavs and Amalija Knavs, parents of first lady Melania Trump, arrive at the White House with the first family June 11, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Advocates for restricting legal immigration have pointed to the imbalance in favor 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.

A spokeswoman for the first lady says the Knavs "are not part of this administration and deserve their privacy".

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"That would be the logical way to do it, the preferred way to do it and possibly the only way to do it under the facts that I know", said David Leopold, the former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

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.

Donald and Melania Trump.

She self-sponsored herself for a green card in 2000 based on her "extraordinary ability" and obtained permanent residency in 2001.

Melania Trump became a US citizen in 2006, the year after she married Donald Trump. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) that would have paved way to citizenship for almost 2 million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children.

The president has repeatedly called for an end to "chain migration" for extended family members and has identified it as one of the four pillars he says must be included in immigration legislation.

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