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Melania Trump's parents are legal permanent residents
23 February 2018, 03:37 | Simon Arnold
Viktor and Amalija Knavs the parents of US First Lady Melania Trump are seen walking across the South Lawn of the White House
The parents of the first lady, Melania Trump, have obtained lawful permanent residency in the United States, a lawyer for the couple confirmed Wednesday, but it remains unclear how or when the couple received their green cards.
Michael Wildes is declining further comment, including discussing when the couple would be eligible for citizenship or how their green cards were obtained.
And an immigration lawyer who spoke to the paper said they had likely used the chain migration process - whereby citizens can sponsor parents or siblings for legal residency - that Trump has condemned.
He's embraced enactment that would keep migrants from supporting their parents and just enable them to support mates and minor kids.
But critics have labelled it a possible example of Trump's hypocrisy, after he said the decades-old chain migration program should be axed in favor of only allowing spouses and minors to be sponsored.
Reached for reaction, first lady spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told Anadolu Agency: "I have no comment for you". She became a US citizen in 2006, the year after she and Trump were married. Both of her parents are retired, according to the news outlet.
The first lady's parents' immigration history has been an open question for some time, but it has taken on greater salience in light of President Trump's demand that chain migration be eliminated in a deal to give amnesty to younger illegal immigrants.
Several years ago, their attorneys contacted the office of Sen. The two are close to obtaining their citizenship, according to the newspaper.
In his State of the Union address January 30, President Trump offered a four-point immigration plan that he said "protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration".
"Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives", he said in his State of the Union speech.
The President's insistence that the cuts to family-based migration be included in a deal to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the USA as children was an insurmountable sticking point in negotiations when the Senate failed to reach a compromise on the issue last week.
He reiterated his stance in a February 6 tweet. Advocates for restricting legal immigration have pointed to the imbalance in favor of family connections as evidence of the need for reform, calling for a "merit-based" system that would choose immigrants based on need in the US. "Chain migration and the visa lottery are outdated programs that hurt our economic and national security". Last week, the Senate defeated legislation offered by Sen.
For example, MSNBC commentator Joy Reid and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn attacked the White House plan to end chain migration, citing that senior advisers like Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino Jr. both had ancestors that legally immigrated to the U.S.
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