Melania’s parents now US citizens — through ‘chain migration’

  • First lady Melania Trump's parents, Amalija and Viktor Knav, walk across the South Lawn of the White House, on Father's Day on Sunday, June 18, 2017. They were sworn in Thursday, July 9, 2018 as US citizens. (Cheriss May/NurPhoto/Zuma Press/TNS) Cheriss May/NurPhoto

Published: 8/9/2018 9:44:22 PM

NEW YORK — First lady Melania Trump’s parents were sworn in Thursday as newly minted Americans — achieving U.S. citizenship through a process the president has strongly denounced.

Viktor Knavs, 73, and wife Amalija, 71, took the citizenship oath in a private ceremony at 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan. The Knavses are believed to have been granted permanent residence through sponsorship by Melania Trump, who is an American citizen.

President Donald Trump, who has made tightening the U.S. borders a key effort of his administration, has ripped that process as a threat to U.S. security and called for its elimination. Long known as family reunification, Trump has derisively labeled the program “chain migration.”

Just last week, the president railed against it in a factually-inaccurate rant at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

“You have chain migration,” Trump said. “You know what that is? A guy comes in — stone-cold killer in many cases. A guy comes in, and then you have to bring his aunt, his uncle, his father, his grandfather, his grandparents, his third niece by a different marriage.”

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