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Melania's parents permanent U.S. residents

Melania's parents permanent U.S. residents

Melania Trump's parents are living legally in the United States as permanent residents, the first lady's lawyer says, but won't reveal how or when they obtained their green cards.

The Washington Post reports that Viktor and Amalija Knavs, Melania Trump's parents, "very likely" relied on the chain migration program to obtain green cards.

A New York-immigration law firm attorney told the Post that there were only two likely ways that Melania Trump's parents could have obtained green cards: if she sponsored them, or their employers sponsored them, which is unlikely.

The Knavses are waiting to schedule their swearing-in ceremony, a person with knowledge of their immigration filings told the newspaper.

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.

Trump has made a hard-line stance on immigration part of his core electoral message.

The news, first confirmed by the Washington Post, prompted allegations of White House hypocrisy Wednesday.

Melania's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham previously told the paper: "I don't comment on her parents, as they live private lives and are not part of the administration".

President Donald Trump's in-laws likely obtained legal, permanent USA residence through a visa category that would be eliminated if the president's chain-migration termination proposal were passed into law.

He reiterated his stance in a February 6 tweet.

An immigration proposal by the Trump administration would limit family sponsorship to spouses and minor children of USA citizens, as well as reducing the maximum eligible age for a minor to 18 from 21.

"That would be the logical way to do it, the preferred way to do it and possibly the only way to do it under the facts that I know", Leopold said.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, like their daughter, are from Slovenia. Amalija, 71, was a pattern maker at a textile factory.

Melania Trump came to the United States from Slovenia in 1996 for several modeling assignments, first on a visitor's visa and then a work permit.

"Chain migration" is a program where US citizens and permanent residents are allowed to sponsor close non-citizen family members for a green card.

The Knavses await a schedule for their swearing-in ceremony as legal permanent residents and are close to becoming USA citizens, people familiar with their status and immigration filings told the Post. Last week, the Senate defeated legislation offered by Sen.

Also unmentioned by the Washington Post is that Trump's push to end chain migration, which would reduce legal immigration levels to raise the wages of American workers, was supported by Civil Rights icon and Democrat congresswoman Barbara Jordan.

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