The Washington post has published an article Wednesday questioning the immigration status of First Lady Melania Trump’s parents, Viktor and Amalija Knavs, who are legal permanent residents of the U.S. and are close to obtaining their U.S. citizenship.
The couple, who immigrated to the United States from Slovenia, are living in the country on green cards, and are now waiting for their swearing-in ceremony to be scheduled, the article states.
The Washington Post claims that the Knaves “very likely relied on a family reunification process that President Trump has derided as “chain migration” and proposed ending in such cases.”
Trump has repeatedly blasted the long-standing policy as “chain migration.” In last month’s State of the Union, the president called that process a threat to Americans’ security and quality of life. Under his plan, he said, only spouses and minor children could be sponsored for legal residency.
But immigration experts said such a path would have been the most likely method his in-laws would have used to obtain residency that permits them to live in the United States.
Matthew Kolken, a partner at a New York immigration law firm, said there are only two substantive ways Trump’s in-laws could gain green cards: by their daughter sponsoring them or by an employer sponsoring them. The latter is unlikely, as it would require a showing that there were no Americans who could do the job for which they were sought.
Both the Knavses are reportedly retired. In Slovenia, Viktor Knavs, now 73, worked as a chauffeur and car salesman. Amalija Knavs, now 71, was a pattern maker at a textile factory.