Melania Trump's parents become citizens through 'chain migration'

Amalija and Viktor Knavs

Mr Knavs, who at 74, is two years older than Mr Trump, is thought to have worked as a auto dealer while Mrs Knavs, 73, worked in a textile factory.

"CHAIN MIGRATION must end now!" he tweeted.

"I believe strongly in the principles of family reunification, which is a bedrock of immigration policy and law and has brought millions of people happily to our shores", Wildes said.

Stephanie Grisham, the first lady's communications director, said that because the Knavses are not part of the administration, "I'm not commenting on them". "Once they had the green card, they then applied for citizenship when they were eligible", he said.

"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", he said in a statement to CNN.

Their lawyer said the couple had met the five-year requirement, but added, "I can't give further comment".

The first lady 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. Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the USA to replace those categories.

President Trump has railed against family-based or "chain" immigration in the past.

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Melania Trump became a United States citizen after entering the country on an Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" in 2001 as a model.

The Knavs had been living in the U.S.as lawful permanent residents.

The US allows a number of ways for US citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor family members to come to the US permanently, including categories for parents, adult siblings and adult children, married and unmarried.

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.

While the Knavs now live in Mar-a-Lago and Trump Tower in New York City, they didn't always live in luxury.

Wildes wouldn't say how long the Knavses have lived in the US.

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.

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