First Lady Melania Trump's parents sworn in as US citizens

Lester Mason
August 10, 2018

The Slovenian-born parents of US First Lady Melania Trump became US citizens at a naturalization ceremony in NY on Thursday, their immigration lawyer Michael Wildes confirmed to AFP.

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

Mr Knavs was a vehicle dealer while Ms Knavs worked in a textile factory.

President Trump, first lady Melania Trump, son Barron Trump and Melania's mother, Amalija Knavs, walk to board the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House on June 29.

"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", he said in a statement to CNN. She said the first lady's parents "are not part of the administration and deserve privacy". Trump has advocated a "merit-based" system, but has not proposed any method of admitting immigrants to the USA to replace those categories.

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.


In 2001, Knauss was granted a green card in the elite EB-1 program, which was designed for renowned academic researchers, multinational business executives or those in other fields, such as Olympic athletes and Oscar-winning actors, who demonstrated "sustained national and global acclaim".

New citizens are normally minted on Fridays, they said, and often the ceremonies are held at the federal courthouse across the street.

The 48-year-old first lady, born Melanija, changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modeling. A former model known as Melania Knauss, she arrived in NY in 1996 and began dating Trump in 2000.

The Knavses raised Melania in the rural industrial town of Sevnica while Slovenia was under Communist rule.

As CNN notes, critics have pointed out that President Trump wants to end that type of family-based migration.

Around the same time the Knavses were completing the ceremony, he was tweeting his rage about the ongoing Russian Federation probe ("an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt") and his excitement about plans for a sixth branch of the military ("Space Force all the way!").

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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