Melania Trump's Slovenian Parents Get US Citizenship

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Viktor and Amalija Knavs, both in their 70s, took the citizenship oath at a private ceremony in New York City.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs had been living the United States as permanent residents, reportedly sponsored by the first lady.

Their lawyer Michael Wildes - who attended the ceremony with them - told reporters outside they had met the five year condition but refused to give more details, according to the New York Times.

The lawyer acknowledged that the Knavses had obtained citizenship via the very pathway that their son-in-law, the president, has so publicly denounced.

"I can not comment on the president's politics when it comes to my clients but I have stood up against the president's immigration policies personally", the lawyer said.

If he was, indeed, so adamantly opposed to allowing USA citizens born overseas to bring their relatives legally, why would he be OK with his wife doing the very same? Their immigration process was under scrutiny, as President Trump has been cracking down on immigration through his policies. I've had the privilege of coming to this building for more than 30 years working with some of the finest families and individuals [.] This golden experiment, these doors that are in America, remain hinged open to attractive people as they have today.

He argues instead for a merit-based system prioritising professionals over relatives, and has drawn criticism for his vocal attacks on immigration laws and immigrants.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, declined to comment, according to AP, saying the first lady's parents "are not part of the administration and deserve privacy".

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"These doors that are in America remain hinged open to attractive people as they have today".

"It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family", he said in a statement to CNN.

Melania Trump was born Melania Knavs in what was then the communist country of Yugoslavia and later changed her surname to Knauss.

Melania Trump became a United States citizen after entering the country on an Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" in 2001 as a model. They tend to keep a low profile despite spending some time at the White House, much like how former first lady Michelle Obama's mother lived at the White House where she focused on helping raise the Obamas' daughters.

She settled in NY in 1996 and met Trump two years later.

It is unclear as to when or how the couple received green cards. It's unclear when the Knavses obtained permanent residency in the USA, the Times reports, but Wildes said they met the five year requirement.

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, it takes about 1-2 years to process an application for naturalization in New York City.