The parents of the first American lady, Melania Trump, became US citizens on Thursday. Viktor and Amalija Knavs were sworn in on 9 August at a naturalization ceremony in New York, their attorney, Michael Wildes, told Fox News.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly and vehemently denounced what he calls “chain migration”, in which adult American citizens can obtain the residence of their loved ones.
This term refers to foreigners who come legally to the United States through the sponsorship of family members who have immigrated before them, including brothers or sisters, or children.
On Thursday, his Slovenian in-laws, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, became US citizens at a private ceremony in Manhattan taking advantage of the same family immigration program.
Asked whether the Knavses had been granted citizenship by “chain migration”, their lawyer, Michael Wildes, said: “I guess.”
The Knavs lived in the United States as legal permanent residents.
The couple was escorted to the ceremony in Manhattan by the Homeland Security Police.
Melania Trump was raised in Slovenia by her parents, while the country was still under Communist rule.
Viktor Knavs, 74, was a car dealer and Amalija Knavs, 73, worked in a textile factory.
The couple made headlines in May after being seen in a federal building in New York City with its immigration lawyer.