First Lady Melania Trump's Mom & Dad Become US Citizens

AFP  Getty Images

AFP Getty Images

First lady Melania Trump's parents have been sworn in as USA citizens.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs, First Lady Melania Trump's parents, 73 and 71 years old respectively, were sworn in as United States citizens in a private service on Thursday, their immigration attorney Michael Wildes announced.

The couple is originally from Slovenia.

Speaking about Mrs Trump's parents' citizenship ceremony, their lawyer Michael Wildes told CNN: "It went well and they are very grateful and appreciative of this wonderful day for their family". "We just thank everyone for their attention to this very important dialogue on immigration".

Viktor and Amalija Knavs had been living in the United States as permanent residents.

Even as his in-laws were going through the process, Mr Trump was denouncing it. Amalija worked in a textile factory.

President Donald Trump's parents-in-law have become U.S. citizens in a private ceremony.

The first lady was named Melanija Knavs when she was born in Slovenia but later changed her name to Melania Knauss when she began her modeling career. 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 lovely people as they have today.

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

According to news reports, she entered the country in 2001 on a so-called Einstein visa for "individuals of extraordinary ability" as a model.

The Knavses slipped in and out of a side entrance at a Manhattan federal building flanked by Department of Homeland Security police.

It is not infrequently the site of protests, but on Thursday, things were quiet as the first lady's parents came and went. William White, a 74-year-old actor, said, with his eyebrows raised, "I'm happy for them".

He maintains there should instead be a merit-based system, which prioritises professionals over relatives, and has drawn censure for his strident attacks on immigration laws and immigrants. "We saw an example of that today".

News of the ceremony prompted an immediate response on Twitter, with tweets ranging from "welcome!" to "unfreakingbelievable".

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