BE careful what you wish for is probably not one of President Donald Trump’s personal rules, as he found out yesterday when his wife Melania’s mother and father both became US citizens.
Long before she became first Lady, Melania Trump sponsored her parents to come to America from Slovenia using the perfectly legal green card sponsoring system which has been called chain migration as it allows entire families to immigrate.
So having met the criteria for permanent immigration, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, the parents of the First Lady, were granted citizenship on Thursday at a private ceremony.
Their immigration attorney, Michael Wildes, announced the news, saying: “It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family.”
Trump’s mother, his paternal grandfather, his first wife Ivana and third wife Melania and several aunts and uncles were all immigrants, but even as his in-laws were preparing to become citizens, Trump’s administration was announcing further crackdowns on immigrants and their families.
The problem for Trump is that he hates chain migration most of all and says the family visa is one of the reasons why he once said that the US has “the dumbest immigration laws in the world.”
He once tweeted: “CHAIN MIGRATION must end now! Some people come in, and they bring their whole family with them, who can be truly evil. NOT ACCEPTABLE!”
The National revealed that Donald Trump’s mother was herself a dirt-poor immigrant who arrived in New York from the Isle of Lewis in 1930 with just $50 in her pocket and went straight to work as a domestic servant before meeting and marrying Trump’s father Fred. She, too, was a chain immigrant, sponsored for her entry into the USA by her sisters who had immigrated from Lewis some years before her.
Reporters questioned lawyer Wildes on how the president’s in-laws were able to gain citizenship and if he supported the president’s stance on immigration.
Wildes responded: “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. I can’t comment on the president’s politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the president’s immigration policies personally.”
Viktor Knavs was a car salesman in the Slovenian town of Sevnica, while his wife Amalija worked at a textile factory. Both are in their 70s and are retired.
They have often been seen in Washington and at Trump establishments.
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