Melania Trump's parents become U.S. citizens

Melania Trump's parents become U.S. citizens

Michael Wildes, the attorney for the first lady's parents Viktor and Amalija Knavs, told The New York Times on Thursday that their daughter had sponsored them for a green card, and that they applied for citizenship once they were eligible.

Melania Trump, originally from Slovenia, sponsored her parents so they could obtain a green card before applying for US citizenship.

Viktor and Amalija Knavs are retired, and they maintain regular contact with the Trump family, often traveling with the first family on trips to Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster, New Jersey.

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

They arrived and departed from a Manhattan federal building escorted by Homeland Security police.

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

"He said: 'Hey look, there's people, nice people, they're relaxing, some are jogging, '" Mr Trump said during a rally last week in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, lamenting the lives lost and those who were injured.

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.

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The Knavses' citizenship ceremony was kept hush-hush around the Jacob K Javits Federal Building.

The couple's lawyer said they had "travailed a wonderful journey".

The couple are natives of Slovenia, where they raised Melania, but have been in the United States for more than a decade, says their immigration lawyer, per CNBC.

Viktor Knavs is 74, two years older than his son-in-law.

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

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

She attended high school in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, and changed her name to Melania Knauss when she started modelling.

It is not infrequently the site of protests, but on Thursday, things were quiet as the first lady's parents came and went. "We saw an example of that today".

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