Viktor and Amalija Knavs, Melania Trump's Slovenian-born parents, took the oath of citizenship in NY on Thursday, their lawyer confirmed, BBC reported. President Trump has decried the policy that allows USA citizens to sponsor their parents and siblings for legal residency.
"I can not comment on the president's politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the president's immigration policies personally", the lawyer said.
According to the report, the first lady's communications director Stephanie Grisham said since the Knavses are not part of the administration, she is not commenting on them. The Slovenian immigrants, a former vehicle dealer and textile factory worker, had been living in the USA as permanent residents.
The Federal Building also houses immigration court and the local offices of the Department of Homeland Security, and its subsidiary, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Their attorney, Michael Wildes, called the couple "beautiful people" and took a moment to draw attention to the process of legal immigration.
Writing on Twitter in November, Trump made his views on the system clear.
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He argues instead for a merit-based system prioritising professionals over relatives, and has drawn criticism for his vocal attacks on immigration laws and immigrants.
Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who are from Slovenia, had previously been living in the U.S.as legal permanent residents with green cards.
She 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.
Currently, the majority of green card recipients receive them via family sponsorship.
Under immigration law, Melania Trump's parents would need to have possessed green cards for at least five years before they could apply for citizenship. That preferential program, popularly known as the "Einstein visa", is intended for immigrants with "extraordinary ability, [who] are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager", according to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Now that the couple are USA citizens, it's important to note the president's hypocrisy when it comes to immigration policies.
Their daughter, Melania, was raised under Communist rule in the town of Sevnica where her father worked as a vehicle dealer and her mom in a textile factory. She became a United States citizen in 2006. Viktor, 74, was a auto dealer while Amalija, 73, worked in a textile factory.